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Obituary

SIDNEY MORLEY KASNER (published on September 24, 2011)



SIDNEY MORLEY KASNER February 7, 1934 - September 1, 2011 After a courageous two year battle with Multiple Myeloma, Sidney Kasner passed away peacefully at Riverview Health Centre at the age of 77 years. Sid is survived by his wife Margaret and their daughters Deborah Kasner and Tracy Kasner Greaves, son-in-law David Greaves and grandchildren Nesya Ann Greaves and Aaron Kasner Greaves. Additionally, Sid leaves behind his brother Bernard Kasner, Aunt Evelyn (Sam) Cohen and their sons Robert and Bernard. As well he is survived by his cousins; Beverly Brunton, Beverly McCaffrey, Bernard Zeavin, Al Silverman, Ken Kasner, Judy Fogel, Sharon Koffman and their families. Sidney was born in Winnipeg to Sam and Ann Kasner. As a young boy, Sid was always searching out adventure in his modest childhood home and humble surroundings. Sid emerged as a leader in the family at a very young age; he tended to the needs of his parents and grandparents with devotion and kindness. He treasured the relationship he developed with his maternal grandmother Tova as he served as her translator, in both language and culture in a strange new world. She nurtured him, and taught him his first lessons in leadership, which far outweighed any translation he could provide for her. It was important to him that her wisdom be passed on to his own children. The greatest compliment one could receive from him was that's what my Baba would have done. Through life experience, Sid developed extraordinary leadership skills and had aspirations of a life where his decisions and hard work would matter. He was a talented football player who also loved curling, hockey, fishing and playing pool. He was fascinated by science and initially worked as a land surveyor in Northern Manitoba; and went on to the formal study of geology. His love of numbers and chemistry brought him good fortune in his professional life, which began when he was a young man working in a lab for North Star Oil in Winnipeg. He went on to Federal Government positions in Calgary, Ottawa and finally back home in Winnipeg where he became the Director of the Weighing Division of the Canadian Grain Commission. Throughout his long career as a Public Servant, Sid enjoyed international business travel and developed relationships with dignitaries all over the world. Sid was gifted with the ability to build through physical labour and philosophically through theory and managerial skill. It was this profound capacity that led him to projects such as constructing with his own two hands the family cottage in Quebec, to his critical role in the amalgamation of three north end synagogues. He was quietly proud of his participation in the merger of Beth Israel, B'nai Abraham and Rosh Pina Synagogues which became Congregation Etz Chayim, where he served as the first president. While Sid's affinity for Synagogue life was grounded in his history; his deep devotion to undertake difficult tasks within the organization had everything to do with his own future and that of his community. He was President of Beth Israel Synagogue twice, and for a time during his Presidency of Congregation Etz Chayim, Sid volunteered as acting Executive Director. Although most of Sid's higher level learning was self taught, he was a vehement supporter of formal quality education. As well, he recognized the importance of education through arts and culture. He served on many community boards including the Winnipeg Board of Jewish Education and as Concert Chair for the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble. Sid was blessed with a family he was very proud of. His wife of 49 years, Margaret, was his best friend and most crucial confidante. Their respect for each other was an important part of Sid's life of integrity and dedication. They encouraged their daughters Deborah and Tracy to dedicate themselves to hard work, academic achievement and community leadership. He cherished his relationship with his son in law David Greaves and admired his efforts in community development. When his grandchildren arrived, Nesya Ann and Aaron Kasner, Sid was at his happiest behind the camera fulfilling another one of his hobbies to capture moments that told the stories of the newest generation of his lifetime. Sid taught his family to think beyond their beginnings, and to reach forward to new adventure with confidence and determination. As cancer took Sid too early on the path of his life, his family is greatly comforted by his courageous efforts to leave this world with the same strength as he possessed when he lived. As his parting words to his grandchildren were sweet dreams , he taught his final lesson: that even in the face of death, he was filled with hope for the future generations of his life. The family wishes to thank Dr. Hillel Sommer, CancerCare Manitoba, Health Sciences Centre, Riverview Health Centre, Rabbi Lander and Congregation Etz Chayim for their care and compassion. As well the family extends a special thank you to Arthur, Faigie, Joyce and Sid, Lori, Susan and David, Rabbi Neal and Carol, for their extraordinary support during Sid's final days. Those desiring to make a donation in Sid's memory can do so through the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba to the Sid Kasner Synagogue Builder's Fund or to a charity of one's choice.


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