Connect with us

Obituaries

WILLIAM CHAIKEN

Chaiken William version 2 edited 1William (“Bill”) Chaiken, one of the last of the first-generation abstract expressionists, died on November 13, 2021, at the age of 100. Bill was a prolific artist known for his abstract figurative paintings and admired for his improvisatory style, technical mastery, and emotional depth.

Bill was born in Russia in 1921 and emigrated with his family to Winnipeg in 1926 to escape the pogroms. His father, Zalman Chaiken, came to be celebrated in the community as a Yiddish poet (https://ia802704.us.archive.org/20/items/nybc204675/nybc204675.pdf).
Entering grade school at the age of five, unable to speak English, Bill charmed his classmates with his drawings, confirming his early devotion to art.  
From 1937 to 1940 Bill attended the Winnipeg School of Art, where he studied under George Overton of the British Royal Academy and L.L. Fitzgerald. 
From 1941 to 1945, he served in the Canadian army.  
After the war, Bill moved to New York City and attended the Art Students League under the Veteran’s Rehabilitation Act, studying with Morris Kantor and Vaclav Vytlacil. He associated with the abstract artists of the New York School. In time, he found that he was not satisfied with pure abstraction, feeling that it lacked “empathy,” and he began to incorporate figures and landscapes into his paintings.His work quickly gained recognition and was displayed in many exhibitions, including six Whitney annual shows (1949 -1956).
In 1959, Bill became a member of United Scenic Artists, a union of freelance designers and painters for theater, film, and television. He painted sets for the Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Ballet, The New York City Opera, The American Ballet Theater, Radio City Music Hall, and Disneyland, as well as for television and Broadway plays and musicals. He also painted the sets and artwork for feature films under the directors Sidney Lumet, John Huston, Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, John Schlesinger, Bob Fosse, Francis Ford Coppola, and many others. Bill claimed that his work as a scenic artist warmed him up for his own painting, which continued unabated. Some of the dramatic effects of the stage found their way into his paintings, as did early memories of Russia and visions of the wide-open skies over Winnipeg.
In 2009 Bill was devastated by the loss of his beloved wife Elke (née Neuhaus). He feared that he would never be able to paint again, but after a period of illness he returned to his studio, located at his home in the Ramapo Mountains in Hillburn, New York.
Bill continued painting in his own home beyond the age of 100. Two months before his 101th birthday, after moving to an assisted living facility, he took to his bed and died peacefully within a week.
Bill retained his connection with Winnipeg, visiting frequently while his parents were alive. Between visits, his mother kept him supplied with packages of smoked goldeyes.  
Bill’s paintings are represented in the Whitney Museum of American Art and in private collections worldwide.
He is survived by his daughters, Ilya Chaiken and MarthaLeah Chaiken, and his granddaughter Zora Sicher.  
A sampling of his paintings can be seen, and the family contacted, on his website: https://www.williamchaiken.com/
 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Obituaries

VAL CORRIN June 7, 1935 – May 11, 2024

With profound sadness, the family of Val Corrin announces her passing on May 11, 2024, at the age of 88.

A graveside service was held on May 14, 2024 at Rosh Pina Cemetery, with Rabbi Kliel Rose officiating. Pallbearers included her sons Blair and Bradley, nephews Philip Corrin, Benji Sepke, Jonah Sepke, and Simon Sepke.

Val was born in Winnipeg to Alda and William Cook. She married the love of her life, Mort Corrin, in 1957 and they lived briefly in Denver, Colorado before returning to Winnipeg where together they began raising three children – daughter Debbie and sons Blair and Bradley. Val converted to Judaism in 1961 and became active in Hadassah and ORT. In the mid-1970s, the family moved to Toronto where Mort had a successful career as a Regional Manager for London Life. Following Mort’s retirement in 1992, he and Val made their summer home in Winnipeg, while enjoying winters in sunny Florida where Val enjoyed playing mahjong and golf, and watching her favourite team, the Toronto Blue Jays.

Val was predeceased by her daughter Debbie, husband Mort, and sister Elaine. Left to cherish her memory are her children Blair and Bradley, son-in-law Steve Douglas, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Thank you to the staff at Luther Home for their comfort and care. May her memory be a blessing.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News