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Obituary

CELIA LIPKIN (published on September 10, 2011)



CELIA LIPKIN After a long and fulfilling life, our mother, Celia Lipkin (nee PolonskyGibbs) passed away peacefully at the Simkin Centre on September 1, 2011 at the age of 92. She is survived by her daughter Marsha Cowan, and her son Dr. Jack Lipkin (Debbie); grandchildren Benji Cowan (Charlene), Reese Cowan Stewart (Grant), Michelle Cowan Lefler (Marc), Marissa Lipkin (Rob Nathan), Hailey Lipkin (Edward Walker); great-grandchildren Cade Cowan, Olivia Lefler, Abigail Lefler, Yael Stewart. She was predeceased by her parents Minnie Polonsky-Gibbs and Nathan Polonsky, her husband Max Lipkin, her brothers Bert Polonsky and Gordon Gibbs and her son-in-law Edward Cowan. Celia was born on October 18, 1918 in Kiev Russia. In 1922 her uncle Rabbi Samuel Polonsky brought her, her brother Bert and their widowed mother to Canada. Several years later her mother married Abraham Gibbs which required moving the family to Creighton, Saskatchewan where Celia spent her formative years growing up with her new little brother Gordon who was a very special person in her life. The importance of loving family relationships was keenly impressed upon Celia at that young age. She often recounted that as a child she envied her little friends who had both a father and mother. Her happiest years occurred when her mother re-married and she had a wonderful Dad and her younger brother Gordon in her life. After high school graduation, Celia's mother passed away and she returned to Winnipeg to live with the Polonsky family. Celia became a legal secretary and worked at the law courts. In 1943 she married Max Lipkin, and they created a beautiful life together. In 1954, Max suffered a debilitating stroke and Celia, a woman of great strength, became his loving caregiver, in addition to the family breadwinner. She raised her family, owned and operated her own business, Marcine Fashions, and in spite of the challenges before her she never faltered in her commitment to her children and her husband. During these years, their very close group of friends provided immeasurable support to them. Following in the role set by her own mother, Celia kept Jewish customs and traditions alive, always celebrating the holidays where she enjoyed the greater extended Polonsky and Boroditsky families. A highlight for her was the annual family October birthday celebration when seven family members celebrated birthdays; most importantly she shared that special day with her son Jack who was born on her 30th birthday. Max passed away in 1993 at which time Celia decided it was time to give back to her community. From the age of 75-80 she volunteered as a friendly visitor for the Jewish Child and Family Service. She drove seniors to activities, concerts, grocery shopping and visited shut-ins. She reunited with many old friends, played Mahjong and Bridge and travelled with the Stay Young Club. She moved to the Portsmouth Retirement Residence where she made many new friends and enjoyed life. At the age of 88 she moved to the Simkin Centre and along with the help of her special companion and caregiver Marlene Suderman, Celia spent her remaining years in comfort enjoying all of the activities and benefits the home had to offer. Funeral services were held at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, Friday, September 2, 2011; Rabbi Pinsker officiated. Pallbearers were her grandsons-in-law and great-nephews; Marc Lefler, Rob Nathan, Edward Walker, Dr. Alan Boroditsky, Dr. Shane Boroditsky and Jason Goldberg. Honourary pallbearers were nephews and nieces; Dr. Richard Boroditsky, Jack Boroditsky, Dr. Carey Boroditsky, Daniel Borden, Mercedes Goldberg, Marnie Margolis and family friend, Ron Cantor. Donations may be made in her memory to the Celia Lipkin Women's Endowment Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba: 204-477-7520. Mother recognized her family until the very end and passed away peacefully with Debbie and Jack by her side. Her children, grand-children and great-grandchildren feel very fortunate to have had Mother and Baba with them for so many years. She was a sweet and gentle woman who was loved by all.


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