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Obituary

SAM KANTOR (published on June 26, 2010)



SAM KANTOR Dr. Sam Kantor passed away peacefully at Victoria General Hospital on May 26, 2010 at the age of 86. He was predeceased by parents Molly and Charles, wife May (Garfinkel), brother Max, and nephew Ron. He is survived by children Anita, David (Anat), Charles, Michael (Hagar), and Mark (Jill), sister Rose Radwin (Ralph), grandchildren Navot, Amit, Tair, Daniel, Mika, Zoe, Maya, and his nieces and nephews. Dad was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, always an anchor of stability to those who depended upon him. He and May were together for 55 years until her death in 2003. Dad's early years were an example of the classic success story of the Winnipeg Jewish community of the day. The son of immigrants, he grew up in a humble household in the North End where academic success was the priority. Despite an historical quota of Jews accepted to medical school, he eventually was accepted, and upon graduation carried on a general practice until deciding to specialize in anesthesia. Dad was respected by his peers as being at the top of his profession, a true innovator. He was the anesthetist's anesthetist. He became involved in intensive care medicine and initiated the intensive care units in three different hospitals in Winnipeg, the Misericordia, Concordia, and Seven Oaks. He was respected not only by his colleagues but also by the nursing staff who often expressed their appreciation for the privilege of working with and learning from him. More than anything else, Dad never ceased to be a student. From his having earned the Governor General's award at St. John's High School through to the end of his life, he was forever involved in furthering his knowledge not only in the professional sphere but in other varied aspects of his life. Our walls at home were lined with books about all kinds of topics. We were surrounded by knowledge. Dad was a true Renaissance man. He was renowned in high school musical productions as an operatic tenor. He occasionally performed the Torah reading at Herzliyah Synagogue where he was an original member. He made efforts (albeit only partially successful) to be another Arthur Rubinstein on the piano and Itzhak Perlman on the violin, having studied both instruments later in life for a number of years. He made zealous attempts to master bridge. He developed culinary talents, becoming the baker of our challot for the Sabbath and the chef of an exquisitely tasty bean soup. Not to be forgotten among these accomplishments were his athletic exploits. Dad was an accomplished sprinter in high school, and played flanker on the St. John's football team during an era when high school football drew real crowds to Osborne Stadium. Later in life he became a middle-aged Roger Federer prototype when he attempted to master the game of tennis in his 40s. He was a fanatic jogger. This included running to work from his home in South River Heights to Seven Oaks Hospital in the north of the city. Our favourite jogging anecdote was when dad sprinted away from two would-be muggers on the Maryland Bridge while jogging to work at 5:00 a.m. Sam was respected by all who knew him. He was a man of honesty, integrity, and commitment. He accomplished much throughout his 86 years but never forgot his roots, proud of his Jewish heritage and a staunch supporter of the State of Israel. He was a generous contributor to numerous charities. His spirit will always be with those whom he loved and loved him. Funeral services were held May 28, 2010 at Chesed Shel Emes with burial at Etz Chayim Cemetery. Pallbearers were Bill Silverberg, Joe Elfenbaum, Chuck Golfman, Gary Brooker, Navot Kantor, and Amit Kantor. The family would like to express their great appreciation to Doctors Ian Thorlakson and Ken Cavers and the nursing staff on 5 South at the Victoria General, and to personal support worker Norma. Donations honouring Sam's memory may be made to the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.


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