Sadly, but peacefully, we have lost a lion of a man. Philip, age 93, passed at Simkin Centre, 10 days short of his 94th birthday, after a full and remarkable life.
Philip leaves behind daughter Enid (Art Macaw), son Ian (Sandra), grandsons, Stephen Nap (Star), Alex (Roma), and Matthew, step-grandsons, Matthew Wiewel (Jennifer) and Donavin Grouette, great-grandsons, Rafael, Santiago, and Sebastian, sister Carol Fehr, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Merle (1994), parents, Shirley and Fred, brother Sidney, and sister Donna. He also leaves his partner Marta Faludi in Palm Springs.
“Dr Phil” was a prominent Winnipeg Obstetrician/Gynecologist, joining the Mall Medical Group in the 1960s, and brought four generations of miracles into the world. He was beloved by his patients, highly respected by his colleagues, and a mentor and teacher to many medical students. As his children, we heard countless stories of gratitude told fondly by his patients, and from his colleagues, accounts of his clinical expertise, dedication, and skill. We recall his 2, 3, and 4:00 a.m. rushes to deliveries, often in blizzard conditions, as he did not want anyone else to attend to “his” patients. Philip’s specialty was in the care of birth mothers who were gestational diabetics, with research published and awards received. He was passionate about life, and a consummate, devoted caregiver to his family, friends, and patients. There were no half-measures with him; Philip was equal parts tenacious, determined, and obstinate as the day is long. To debate or argue wth him was at your own risk or peril. Each person he encountered was given a place of importance, no matter their station in life. He could not tolerate an injustice, and was a tireless advocate for those he saw as needing attention or vulnerable. Philip’s ferocity was tempered by his unwavering capacity for compassion for all. We would be remiss if we did not mention Philip’s legendary passion for food. Along with his scalpel, his fork was his trusty companion, and a Chinese food buffet was life. Although a force of nature, much revered, often feared, if he loved you, you knew it, as he would never hesitate to tell you so. If you were his friend, you had his loyalty forever.
“Philly” was proud of his humble beginnings and North End roots. He came from a loud, loving, colourful family, and from age nine, had jobs to help support them. Dreaming of becoming a doctor from a young age, he never let anyone forget that he was accepted into the Faculty of Medicine, at age 17, at a time when the University of Manitoba had a quota on their acceptance of Jewish medical students. Prior to his specialty of obs/gyne, he spent four years in Bienfait, SK, doing a general practice locum, with many a story he loved to tell of his time as town doctor, mayor, and plumber! As accomplished as Philip was, he was plain-spoken, called a spade a shovel, and was never afraid to do any kind of physical labour or get his hands dirty. He took our chiding about his mispronunciations like a trooper.
Above all else, Philip loved his family fiercely. We always knew we came first. As intimidating as he could be, he wore his generous heart on his sleeve. His devotion to his beloved Merle, who we lost much too soon, was a testament to heartbreak and recovery. His delight and pride in being a Zaida to his grandsons and great-grandsons knew no bounds, with complete spoiling rights. We are so fortunate to have had him in our lives and as a father.
We would like to thank the Simkin Centre for their exemplary care, who treated our father with dignity, respect, and love. We know he felt at home. We would also like to thank our family and friends for their outpouring of support and shared memories of Phil. They have been an immense source of comfort.
Funeral service was officiated by Rabbi Matthew Leibl at Rosh Pina Memorial Park. Pallbearers were Dan Blankstein, Rob Berkowits, John Diamond, Norm Mayer, Stephen Rosenfield, and Randy Wolfe. Thank you all for honouring our father and our family.
Donations may be made to the Barnes Family Fund, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, or an organization of your choice.
Dad, your memory will always be a blessing. Your legacy will be kept alive throughout, by your family, and all those who love you. “Everything’s under control.”
You are with mother now.
CLARICE DANZKER (née YAREN) December 29, 1924 -January 9, 2024
After a life well-lived, the family of Clarice Danzker announces her passing on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at the age of 99.
Clarice was born in Winnipeg to Nessie and Abraham Yaren, exactly 3 years to the day after her future husband, Ernie. She was the youngest of five children. She grew up in Winnipeg’s North End during the depression, and always described her childhood as happy. Her passing marks the end of an entire era as the last of her generation on both sides of the Danzker and Yaren families. She is survived by her children, Simmie (Larry) Nasberg, Lainey Danzker (Michael Werier), her grandchildren Steven Werier (Kimi Wertman), Alissa Nasberg, Nessa Werier(Jason Lichtman ), Benji Nasberg, her great-grandchildren Jacob, Sofie and Ozzie. She was pre-deceased by her husband Ernie, her siblings Lil Popeski, Jack Yaren, Harry Yaren, Sima Yaren and many in-laws, nieces & nephews.
Clarice and Ernie met on a blind date over a game of bridge. They were married in the great flood of 1950 and as the story goes, they relocated their wedding from the Alexandra Hotel to a relative’s home, which they accessed by boat. This elegant lovely woman, together with Ernie, the gregarious man who was her inseparable partner for over 60 years of marriage, built and sustained a family full of happiness, empathy, and love at which they were the constant center. Their home was characterized by singsongs, guitar, laughter and people on every possible occasion.
In the way she lived, Clarice taught those around her invaluable lessons. She was the eternal optimist, always finding something to be happy about. Nothing gave her more joy in her last years than spending time with her great-grandchildren. She was open-minded, progressive, fair, insightful, and dedicated. She treated everyone with respect & had a kind word for all. She was a person of strong convictions. She lived by the philosophy of healthy mind and healthy body, and she remained active in both throughout her 99 years.
Clarice was involved in many organizations, National Council of Jewish Women, the Shaarey Zedek sisterhood, school organizations, camp organizations, and the arts, which she loved – the symphony, the ballet, the art gallery, the theater.
Clarice & Ernie & their family shared amazing times at Winnipeg Beach, Naples, Florida and over 30 winters in Rancho Mirage, California, honing their golf skills and mastering their bridge games. They made lifelong friends everywhere they went.
Clarice always said “your visits made my day”, but it was she who made ours magical.
The family would like to thank Tess, Baby, Maybelle, and Letty for their dignified care these last months and Dr. Kristen Creek for her exceptional and compassionate care.
Funeral services were held on January 11, 2024
Donations in Clarice’s honour may be made to the Ernie and Clarice Danzker Family Fund, c/o The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or to a charity of your choice.
Trudy was born July 29, 1926 in Winnipeg. She grew up in River Heights, attended Mulvey Elementary, continued on to graduate from Gordon Bell High School, and studied at a technical college to become a bookkeeper.
Trudy and Moe Yusim married on June 30, 1952 and raised their family, Alan, Norman, Susan and Robert.
Trudy was smart, beautiful, poised, dignified and elegant. She enjoyed bowling, playing bridge (she was a Life Grand Master who played well into her 90s.)
Moe’s sudden death in 1977 was heartbreaking. and Trudy faced her heartbreak with resolve, determination, strength, and resilience.
Trudy continued to live in the family home for another 35 years. She was an amazing cook and her meals brought the whole family together many times a year and for holiday celebrations. It was hard for her to leave the family home after her health took a turn, but during her 12 years at the Shaftesbury Residence she found continued comfort and a place to be social, to join activities, and a place where she could proudly entertain her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As a grandmother she was Nanny Trudy. Her love for and interest in everything her grandchildren and great- grandchildren were doing was obvious. She absorbed their interests and made them her own. She celebrated all their accomplishments and achievements, both personal and professional.
Trudy passed away peacefully on January 8, 2024 at the Simkin Centre. The family is grateful for the tender care she received during her final months. Trudy leaves behind her four children and their spouses, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents Rose and Max Thow and her beloved husband Moe and her great- grandson Leo.
The family would like to thank Rabbi Matthew Leibl for officiating at Trudy’s graveside service. As a long-time family friend his eulogy to Trudy was both personal and poignant.
In conclusion, here are words written by Trudy’s eldest granddaughter:
“She was the strongest woman, going through the tragedy of losing her beloved husband suddenly and at a young age. Left with 4 children and without the love of her life. She persevered, and became a more independent woman than she ever was before. She still enjoyed life and continued on to live another 47 years with grace and love. She lived a full life of 97 years, with many different chapters. We love her and will miss her always.”
May Trudy Yusim be at peace.
And may her memory be a blessing.
Anne Novak (née Fink) passed away peacefully in her 100th year on January 24, 2024. She lived a life that spanned three continents and two centuries. Born in Sanok, Poland on March 18, 1923, Anne was the second of five siblings born to an observant Jewish family. Her early years in Poland were happy, but life became bleak when Hitler invaded in 1939. Before long the Fink family fled to their grandparents’ home in the Russian controlled part of Poland seeking safety. Unfortunately, the Russians deported the family to the depths of Siberia where they were resettled in work camps. The war years were filled with hunger and depravation, but ultimately six of the seven family members survived.
When the family was allowed to leave Siberia, they made their way to Germany and ultimately to Canada.
By the time Anne arrived in Winnipeg in 1948, she had married her beloved husband Oscar Novak and had her first child Carol. Having worked in kindergartens in Russia and Germany, she got a job at the Peretz School as a kindergarten teacher. Like many other immigrants, her husband bought a small grocery store and the young family began to grow and thrive. Two more children, Phil and Allan, completed the Novak family.
Anne’s best times were with family. Her siblings Sally, Sol, and Ruth were an important part of daily life and all lived close by. Last year, they were designated by the Shoah Foundation as the oldest Holocaust survivor siblings in the world. Her son Allan Novak recently made a film about the Fink family which had its world premiere in New York six days before she died.
Anne also took great pride in her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren, delighting in their visits, family celebrations, and accomplishments.
Anne was a wonderful cook and baker, making legendary tortes and cakes for special occasions. Food was love to her and she showered her family with tasty delicacies until well into her 90s. No visit to her kids in Toronto was complete without a box of food containing homemade treats.
Although she was a quiet and refined person, she also had a great sense of humour and enjoyed the funny side of life. She was always kind to the people around her and was the peacemaker in the family.
The family would like to thank Dr. Hamedani and the nursing staff at the Grace Hospital for their kind attention in the final weeks of her life.
She will be sadly missed by her surviving children and their spouses Carol and Brian Sevitt, Allan Novak and Keely Sherman, her grandchildren and their partners Julia Sevitt, David Sevitt and Alexa Abiscott, and Evan and Samantha Novak, and by her great-grandchildren Theo, Zac, Miles, Simone, Matthew and Phil.
In memoriam donations can be made to Jewish Child and Family Services of Winnipeg https://www.jcfswinnipeg.org/donate