It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Tania Dolovich (née Fridell) four months shy of her 90th birthday. She is survived by her children Michael (Pat), Allan (Kayla), Jeffrey (Laurie) and Gary (Christa) and her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She is survived as well by her sister Miriam, her brother Jerry (Cynthia) and many nieces, nephews and other family members. Tania was predeceased by her parents David and Ruth Fridell, and her husband, Sam Dolovich.
Mom was born in Regina but lived her life in Winnipeg’s North End. She attended St. John’s High School.
Mom was a vibrant, vivacious woman with a strong independent spirit. She was a remarkable mixture of kindness and strength, bold when she needed to be, reticent when the occasion called for it.
Deeply intelligent, a voracious reader, and with a vocabulary few could match, it was near madness to challenge her to a game of scrabble or to try and outdo her in the most complex of crosswords. And yet she always seemed so proud when you put “boat” out on the board to her own word, “existential” (triple word score). When she saw the deep disappointment on your face, she would take pains to point out that luckily she just got some better tiles – the thing is, though, she meant it.
One of Mom’s proudest early achievements was her work with the Junior Chamber of Commerce. She became an integral part of that organization and gained the respect of the people she worked with. She spoke often of her time at the JCC and her face, inevitably, would light up.
Mom met her husband-to-be, Sam, when he rented a room from her parents while he was studying at university. Tania was still living at home and over time she and Sam became increasingly fond of each other.
Tania and Sam married on September 7th, 1952.
Mom and Dad were married for over 50 years and few couples have been as devoted to one another as they were. It is impossible to catalogue even a fraction of their life together as husband and wife, but it is also just as impossible to forget that magical moment when they danced together for hours under the moonlight at Disneyland as the Harry James Orchestra serenaded them with their children looking on.
Between 1957 and 1966 Tania and Sam had four sons together – Michael, Allan, Jeffrey and Gary.
Mom was deeply involved in community theatre and acting generally. She regularly performed in productions at Rainbow Stage, the Warehouse Theatre and MTC. She acted in productions such as The Diary of Anne Frank. She sang with the late Sara Udow and the Rosh Pina Choir, and performed with the Jewish Community Players at the YMHA. She also did commercials for both radio and television and appeared in magazines for companies such as Eaton’s and Simpson Sears. Additionally, she appeared in small roles on CBC Television.
Mom was always so humble about her achievements in the performing arts. She never thought it was a big deal – it was just something she enjoyed. She was, however, very proud of having worked with noted directors John Hirsch and Malka Lerner.
She was the consummate professional, always. And she was always available to help bring out the best performance in other actors.
For many years Mom worked at Alcan-Price Extrusions Ltd., and, in fact, retired from Alcan in 1996 after a long and successful career there, first as a part time secretary, and eventually progressing to become a business administrator with the company. She was dedicated to the company and became the representative major customers such as Loewen Windows and New Flyer came to depend upon.
Mom was devoted to her family and sustained it in the most trying of circumstances. When Dad took ill at a relatively young age, she engaged in Herculean efforts in order to ensure that the family not only survived, but thrived. Life continued unabated. Because of her tireless effort and incessant, heroic advocacy, Dad lived the rest of his life at home with his wife and family. For her sons, school, music lessons, summer vacations at Winnipeg Beach, Gimli and Sandy Hook all became part of the fabric of the family’s memories when by all accounts, given the magnitude of the challenges she was forced to confront, they shouldn’t have been. There was no shortage of other challenges she faced over the years and yet she faced each one with an indomitable spirit. Despite the many demands, she always made each of us believe she had all the time in the world. Mom’s greatest joys were her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And throughout those years, during both good times and bad, there was always Tania and Miriam. It is difficult to put into words the nature of the relationship between these two sisters. During their younger years they looked so much alike even people who knew them well could have difficulty telling them apart. The fact is, though, they were very different people and yet the bond between them was unbreakable right from childhood to Mom’s last day. To say they were best friends as well as sisters, while true, doesn’t do them justice. They were inseparable.
During her final years Mom continued to be a joyful, musical presence in the lives of all who knew her. You always knew she was happy when you could hear her singing from the elevator.
For some time, a tall, handsome man has been waiting patiently for his dazzlingly beautiful wife to arrive, and together, now each loosened from the physical constraints that bound them in this world, they are free to spend eternity in each others’ arms and dance to the music of Harry James, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.
The family wishes to extend its deep appreciation for the incredible comfort, care and support she received from the staff of the Simkin Centre.
A graveside funeral service was officiated by Rabbi Anibal Mass on May 5th, 2021 at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. Pallbearers were: Avrom Charach, Howard Kideckel, David Litvack, Liam Pollock, Reese Ratson and Myron Schultz. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Simkin Centre or to a charity of one’s choice.