Professional Engineer; Born in Warsaw Poland January 12th, 1931; Died Winnipeg Canada March 8th, 2018
Walter was a Holocaust survivor who lost both of his parents and an older brother because of the Nazis’ goal to rid the world of the Jewish people. Walter, who last saw his family at ten years of age, spoke very often at various schools and other venues in the hope that his tragic war experiences would instill tolerance in people of various religious beliefs.
While he basically accepted the premise, “love thy fellow man”, he strongly believed that it should start with a more realistic approach: “Let your fellow man live in peace”. Walter had chronicled his war experiences and those who may be interested inn them should speak to his son, George.
It was Walter’s wish to acknowledge two individuals who, at the peril of their own lives, saved his life during the war. Dr Kazimierz Weckowski was a Christian doctor who smuggled Walter out of the Warsaw Ghetto when he was 10 years old and hid him in his home for two years. Dr. Weckowski was recognized posthumously as a Righteous Amongst Nations by Yad Vashem in Israel for his heroism. Peter Jablonski (Nachman Fryszberg) was a young Jewish man who saved Walter after a building they were hiding in was bombed. Peter dug Walter from the rubble and hid him in a hole underground that he built. Peter hid himself, Walter and three others there for a period of five months in that hiding space. Peter saved Walter’s wounded leg by using urine as a disinfectant. He found a sack of rotten onions that became their main source of food, enabling them to survive until they were liberated in January 1945.
Following years of surgeries and long hospital stays in both Poland and Sweden (to restore the use of his leg), Walter could walk again, sporting a big shoe on his shorter leg. He would explain to curious children who wondered about his large shoe: “So to kick a soccer ball further”.
Walter came to Canada in late 1947 just short of 17 years of age having completed only up to Grade 2 in French immersion in Warsaw. With a great deal of difficulty, years of missed education, learning a new language and financial problems, he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1957. He then began his 40 plus year career with the Manitoba Department of Highways and Transportation. Despite his one short leg and his difficult past, he rose to the position of Director of Bridges and Structures for the Province of Manitoba, retiring in September 1997.
Walter’s extra-curricular activities were numerous and included many volunteer positions with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba, culminating in the position of its President. He was recognized with many awards both on the Provincial and National scene. He was Past-President of the Optimist Club of Assiniboia, Past-President of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society and Past Second Vice-President of the Canadian Schizophrenic Society.
Upon retiring from the Department of Highways Walter became International Liaison Officer with the ISIS Research Network and Associate Professor Engineer-In-Residence at the University of Manitoba.
In July 2017 Walter was recognized for his lifetime of contributions in volunteering as well as speaking about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. He received the “Sovereign Award for Volunteers” from the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency David Johnston. This award was presented to him by Her Honour Janice Filmon, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, who graciously came to the hospital to present it to him.
Walter would often say, “My Profession has been good to me, Manitoba has been good to me, Canada has been good to me”. He was a fiercely proud Canadian. Walter was forever grateful that Canada had given him a home and an opportunity to rebuild his life. He committed himself to give back to his adopted country.
Walter was predeceased by his parents Mauryce and Anna and his brother Jercyk who perished in the Holocaust, his wife Sheila Greenberg Smith and the mother of his children Joan Carole Gordon.
Walter leaves his loving children, George (Timothy), Jack and Anna; his nieces, Myrna, Patrisha and Penny and their families; as well as cousins, friends, colleagues, Sheila’s family (including stepson Grant [Rhonda] and their children, Jared and Shane; and his best friend, Clara Block.
The family is very grateful to Evangeline, Edna, Rishpa and Merlyn, who looked after him with such incredible love and compassion. They are also very grateful to the entire staff of the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre and especially to the team on Simkin 2 for the exceptional care he received.
Funeral Service was held at the Etz Chaim Synagogue on Sunday March 11th with interment at the Rosh Pina cemetery. Pallbearers were: Ron East, Dan East, Lior Avishay, Karen Vickar, Jonathan Fine and Zev Rumstein.
Donations in Walter’s name can be made to the Holocaust Education Centre Endowment Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or the Manitoba Schizophrenic Society.
BARBARA JEAN WERIER
It is with great sadness our family shares the passing of our beloved mother and grandmother, Barbara Jean Werier, who passed away peacefully on February 6 with family by her side. She was 91 years of age.
She was predeceased by her husband Samuel Werier, and her sister Ann Jason. She is survived by her son’s Joel (Madelaine) and Alan, and her cherished grandchildren Samuel and Rachel.
Barbara was born in the north end of Winnipeg in 1932. She and her younger sister Ann developed a strong bond that would continue well into adulthood. One of her first employment opportunities was with Winnipeg Central Mortgage and Housing, which she spoke fondly of over the years. In 1965 she married her love, Samuel Werier, and they embarked on a 28-year long journey of love, family, and business.
Mom was devoted to her family and children and took great pride in their successes and was always a support in times of disappointment. She was in many ways self-made, and self-taught, and when her husband Samuel passed away in 1993, she continued to run the ‘family business’ J. Werier & Co, on the corner of Princess and Alexander, for the next 25 years.
She was strong, witty and had a tireless work ethic, and always demonstrated kindness and understanding – and she could stand her ground. She taught us how to be good people, and to appreciate the world around us.
Mom found great peace, happiness, and inspiration from a small family cottage in The Whiteshell, where many summer weekends were spent. She found great solace in nature, landscaping, and gardening. She could often be seen walking the trails at the cottage with a pruning saw in her hand. She understood ecology and sustainability before it was fashionable, composted for as long as we can remember, and refused to use fertilizers and chemicals to protect the animals and lakes that she loved.
Mom was the rock and glue of our family. She selflessly supported her family and all around her throughout her life. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to surround her with family and return that support over the last few years. A special thanks to Rodney Chester Larios, who provided exceptional care and became an extended member of our family.
Donations can be made to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.
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.