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Obituaries

SAMUEL LOUIS “SHOM” ROITENBERG

Shom roitenbegOur beloved father and grandfather left us on Tuesday November 27, 2018 at 93 years. 

 

 

 

 

Shom was predeceased by his loving wife Sheila (2008), his beloved son Kerry (2017), his parents Isaac and Rose, his brothers George and Pinny and his sister Sylvia.  Shom is survived by his children Janis, Evan & Audra, and his granddaughters Lindsay and Jillian.  Shom is also survived by his nieces and nephews, his companion Bobby, and a litany of friends.

Born and raised in Winnipeg’s north end, Dad attended Aberdeen School and St. John’s Tech before joining the Air Force in 1943 as a mechanic.  Luckily, we won the war anyway.  Following his service, Dad went to work.  First as a cutter in the clothing industry, then embarking on his 37 year career in the insurance business.  Dad managed a top sales team with London Life and made lifelong friends, which is no surprise as Dad made friends wherever he went.

Dad was an accomplished baseball player.  A first baseman, Dad would describe himself as having a good glove.  Asked to describe himself as a hitter, Dad would remind you of how good a fielder he was.  He played, and later managed, in the 20th Century League for the Whirlaways.  Proving that one should always be young at heart, Dad continued to play into his 80’s with a group of senior all-stars, and renewed his gym membership this past summer.

Mom and Dad married in 1951.  They created a home filled with love and raised a family together against a backdrop of humour and music.  Mom could sing, Dad could not.  Mom performed on stage, Dad applauded.  Dad performed in the insurance world, Mom supported.  They each played to their strengths and, together, taught their children to do the same.  Even through adversity, humour and a desire to lead the best life possible guided the journey.  Dad offered wisdom and quietly led by example.  Dad was an extremely proud father and, if possible, an even prouder zaida…or, as he was known: a proud Yaya.

For the last 9 plus years, Dad enjoyed his companionship with Bobby.  They travelled together, enjoyed dining out with friends or a simple evening playing cards.  They helped keep each other young and enjoyed their grandchildren together, extending the good life.
And it was a good life.  If being a mensch, a fine person, is the goal, then Dad exceeded all expectations.  Dad was an extremely warm, caring and charming man.  Not only a gentleman, but a gentle man.  It is rare to hear of a man of whom no one can say a bad word.  Shom Roitenberg was such a man.  Always humble, he never understood the impact that he had on those around him.  Yet, impactful he was.  If you served Dad in a restaurant, helped him at the bank, or even scanned his groceries, he left you with a smile on your face.  And in everyone’s memory of Dad, there is a smile on his.  

Funeral services were held November 29 at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue.  Pallbearers were Ian Cramer, Jacob Cramer, Norman Yusim, Daniel Yusim, Jeff Hirsh and Michael Conner.  Honorary pallbearer was Randy Cramer.  A special thank you to Debby and Norm for always making Dad feel welcomed and loved.  If desired, donations can be made to the ‘In Memory of Sheila and Kerry Roitenberg Fund’ at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, to the Luther Home Corp. of Winnipeg, or to a charity of your choosing.  
Dad, Yaya in our hearts you will live forever.  We will always love you.

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Obituaries

DR. MONTE HOWARD KOWALL November 9, 1928 – April 17, 2024

He will be dearly missed by his wife of almost 68 years, Cecile (nee Pollock); children, Pamela (Gary Brooker), Paul (DD), Feryn and Sheri (Robbie Weisz); grandchildren, Alana (Matt Joudrey), Ivy, Rachel, Sarah, Lainey, Nayce and Sienna.

Monte grew up with his older brother Bernard in the North End of Winnipeg. He attended school at Machray, St. John’s and the University of Manitoba where he received his medical degree. After completing specialty training in Boston, MA, he established his pediatric practice, first at the Mall Medical Clinic and then in the Boyd Building, enjoying a rewarding 45 year career. He served on staff at several hospitals and volunteered decades of service to the St. Amant Centre, Cerebral Palsy Association, Mount Carmel Clinic and in northern Manitoba at Indian Lake and Norway House. Monte and wife Cecile were very involved in their synagogue, Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun. Monte also had many hobbies. He was an avid reader, stamp collector, culinary expert, gardener and handyman. Most of all he enjoyed being with family and friends and truly enjoyed the special times with his grandchildren and his many nieces and nephews.

Monte and Cecile travelled to many destinations including Italy, Russia, Hawaii, Mexico, Dominican Republic, California and Florida. Monte really enjoyed the lake at Winnipeg Beach where he and Cecile eventually decided to reside during the summers, while wintering in Margate, Florida.

Monte enjoyed life and was blessed to have remained in his own home until his last day. He lived with dignity and humility and will always be remembered by the many patients he cared for over the years, as well as by his loving family and many friends.

Funeral services were held on April 21, 2024, at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. Pallbearers were Martin Pollock, Ethan Pollock, Jayden Pollock, Charles Morris, Liam Pollock and Harlan Morris. The family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to dedicated caregivers, Nelly, Eddie, Marietta, Ann, Connie and Gizelle for the kind, caring and respectful manner in which they attended to our father over the last few years.

Donations may be made to the Monte and Cecile Kowall Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or to a charity of your choice.

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Obituaries

BETTY ANN SEARLE (nee PRESSMAN)

Born – April 16, 1937 Passed Away – April 14, 2024

With broken hearts, we share the news of the unexpected, but peaceful, death of our dear mother, Betty Ann Searle, on April 14, 2024, just shy of her 87th birthday.

Betty is survived by her beloved husband of over 66 years, Samuel (Sam); children Sharna, Lorne (Barbara) and Beverlee (Barry); grandchildren Evan, Aaron, Jamie and Matthew; brother-in-law Garry Shapera; sister-in-law Eve Blank. Many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will also dearly miss her.

Betty was predeceased by her parents Jack and Sally Pressman, and her only sibling, younger sister and close confidante, Doreen Shapera, as well as by other cherished family members including her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Betty lived in small Manitoba towns, moving to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, in 1948, where her father established Pressman’s Style Shop, a boys’ and men’s clothing store. Possessing evident early charm and people skills, Betty would bring a daily hot lunch to her father and mind the store while he ate. Later, she became her high school’s first female student council president.

Betty moved to Winnipeg in 1955 and soon met Sam at the Good Earth Restaurant, a popular hangout for young Jewish adults. They married in 1957 and a few years later settled into the house designed by Sam in Winnipeg’s North End. When the kids were a little older, Betty obtained an Early Childhood Education certificate from Red River Community College, worked at Peretz and Ramah schools, and became an active community volunteer. Among several positions, she served as Winnipeg Section president of the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada and manager of Art Rental and Sales at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In later years, she remained peripherally involved with NCJWC and sat on the WAG’s advisory and foundation committees. In 1985, Betty graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in economics and art history, landing a job as an account executive immediately thereafter.

Betty transformed the beautiful house Sam designed for them into a warm and welcoming home. With impeccable taste and a flair for fashion, mom, the quintessential hostess, entertained friends and family with style and good humour year-round. Betty also loved exploring the world. Her travels with Sam, and often with the whole family, included North American camping trips and ski holidays, adventures in Europe, China, Cuba, Israel, the Caribbean and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the latter becoming “home base” for several weeks every winter for 20 years. Closer to home, mom loved residing at the family cottage in Loni Beach (Gimli), MB, for July and August each year.

Betty and Sam shared a rich, cultural life in Winnipeg. They had season tickets to “everything”: symphony, opera, chamber music, theatre, ballet, jazz. Also passionate about family, mom keenly understood the importance of staying connected and taking the time to celebrate as many simchas together as possible, crisscrossing Canada and the United States to enjoy myriad milestone occasions with extended family. The same can be said regarding Betty’s lifelong friends.

Mom’s ultimate delight was the unbridled joy she experienced being with her grandchildren. Bobbie Betty couldn’t get enough of them and spared no expense to see them as often as possible. Toronto became a regular destination and the Gimli cottage became “grandchildren central” for several weeks each summer. She was an involved, interested Bobbie, and her grandchildren loved sharing the special times in their lives with her.

Betty passed away peacefully at the Seven Oaks General Hospital. We are grateful for the kindness and dignity with which the staff treated her. A heartfelt thank you, as well, to Sam’s wonderful care team at the house – Sharon, Violeta, Naomi, Jamie, Cheryl – for providing loving support to both dad and mom.

The graveside funeral service was held on April 17, 2024, at the Rosh Pina Memorial Park, warmly officiated by Rabbi Kliel Rose. The pallbearers were grandsons Evan Searle and Matthew Pearl, son-in-law Barry Pearl, cousin Selma Gilfix, great-niece Amy Braunstein and devoted nephew David Shapera.

Donations may be made to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s “Betty Ann Searle Memorial Fund” or to a charitable organization supporting Winnipeg’s arts community.

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Obituaries

NEIL CHARACH July 23, 1935 – April 30, 2024

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, zaidie, brother, family and friend.

Neil was born in Winnipeg and grew up on Scotia Street. In 1952 he began learning his trade as a photographer at Charach Studios which was opened by his late father Irvine in 1928. Neil was a meticulous perfectionist and no detail was left to chance. Being a wedding photographer of over four decades he took great pride in his work and good reputation. He was a kind and generous person with a strong will. Family and friends were important to him and he had a large group of lifelong buddies as he called them. Everyone who knew Neil enjoyed hearing his stories. As the story is told, Judy chased him until he caught her. They married in 1971 and were together for almost 53 years. They created a beautiful life together.

He was predeceased by his parents, Fanny and Irvine and sister Sheila. He will be deeply missed by his wife Judy, children, Marla (Mark), Ian (Sherry), Dana (Hart), and grandchildren, Courtney, Hailey, Max, Farrah, Nathan and Lilah, brother Harold, sister Elaine, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A special thank you to his home care workers, especially Manuel and Abdul.

Funeral services were held at Chesed Shel Emes on Friday, May 3, followed by burial at Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. Pallbearers were Daniel Bell, Max Binder, Marc, Riley, Jesse and Seth Streifler.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to make a donation in Neil’s memory can do so to the Neil Charach Memorial fund c/o The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba (204-477-7520) or the charity of your choice.

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