Rochelle Blumenthal died peacefully and in her own time on March 13, 2019. Predeceased by her parents, Abraham and Sophie (Cristall) Schwartz, her sister Ethel, brothers Harold and Wilfred and her beloved husband Sidney Blumenthal.
Left to miss her are her children Susan (Ab Freig), Heather (Otto Ehren), Brian (Lisa Mendelson) and Jennifer (Danny Bubis), her grandchildren Rebecca, Layla, Zachary, Myles, Ira, Spencer and Jack, her brother Bernard (Barbara) and a legion of family and friends, including her long-time companion and friend Ashoke Dasgupta.
Mom was a Winnipeger – and an ardent Winnipeg Beacher — all her life, but for a short stay in Montreal after graduating from university. She grew up on Glenwood Crescent, attending St. John’s Tech High School where, according to her yearbook write-up, she had a hard time managing her school work with all her club memberships. She continued her education at the University of Manitoba, where, true to form, she was involved in all aspects of campus and sorority life.
After getting married and having her children, Mom found an outlet for her skills in volunteer work, becoming involved in the National Council of Jewish Women, the provision of hearing tests to schoolchildren and Future for Youth, an organization devoted to youth with mental health problems. Later, after the death of Sidney in 1978, Mom went back to school to become a library technician and worked in various libraries for several years.
Nothing made Mom happier than to be surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Raising her four children, she said, was her greatest achievement, especially in the years after Sidney died. Nothing made her prouder than seeing her children flourish – except perhaps her grandchildren. And nothing made her happier than to be surrounded by all her children and grandchildren at the table for holidays or special events – like Wednesday.
In her retirement years, she became a mainstay of Winnipeg Friends of the Public Library, an enormously satisfying undertaking for her. She also played a mean hand of bridge and delighted in the daily trivia quizzes at her home, The Wellington, which, thanks to her wide and constant reading, she regularly aced.
Mom’s family would like to thank the staff of the cardiology ward, critical care unit and palliative care ward at the St. Boniface Hospital for their comfort and care. And especially we would like to thank Maria Desousa, who has been so much to Mom over the past several years.
Funeral will take place at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on Friday March 15, 2019.
To honour Mom’s memory, the family would appreciate donations to Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library or the Rochelle Blumenthal Women’s Endowment Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.