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Obituary

RUTH DINAH (ROCHELA) LABOVITCH  (published on October 06, 2011)



RUTH DINAH (ROCHELA) LABOVITCH May 5, 1933 - September 22, 2011 Ruth Dinah (Rochela) Labovitch was born Jewish, the sixth of seven children, to Genya and Yitzchak Szterenzys (Stern) of Czernice, Poland (Ukraine). In 1942 the Nazis tortured and murdered her mother, father, three brothers, Gerhson, Yankel, Pinnie and then killed her two sisters Leah and Bayla. Ruth, age nine and her sister Susan, age six, through many miracles survived the Holocaust. In October of 1948, Ruth, a war orphan, immigrated to Canada with her sister, Susan. At the time of her arrival she could not speak a word of English. Nevertheless she excelled at school and graduated from St. Johns High School in 1952. She went on to Success Business College where she acquired secretarial and word processing skills. She obtained her first job with Sanford Evans Research Group and later became employed with the Federal Government working in the Departments of Unemployment Insurance, Taxation and then with Veteran Affairs. Ruth married on July 4, 1954 to Irvin Labovitch, a high school teacher. Together they raised three children, Janis (Genya), Garry (Yitzchak) and Joel (Zelig Pinchus). Ruth was a devoted mother and wife throughout her 78 and half years of life. She was an exceptional cook and baker and enjoyed entertaining her family and friends on countless Jewish Holidays and social engagements with her exceptional cuisine, wit, humour, smiles and warm, loving heart. Ruth made a video testimony in 1995 with the Steven Spielberg Holocaust Foundation. Her story of devastation balanced by miracles, of hopelessness countered by faith, of loss versus triumph and success can be viewed at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, Israel. In May of 2010 Ruth was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During her last months she was often fond of saying to her husband Be Strong! And don't be afraid for crossing a narrow bridge! Shortly after a remarkable eight day visit with her son Yitzchak, wife Penina and their family from New York - during which time she cooked, served and presented with a hidden smile on her lips her famous five-layer chocolate almond tort , her son's favourite - she succumbed to her illness three weeks later. Among her last few words spoken, upon greeting her daughter Janis and her youngest son Joel (a physician) who had flown in from Israel Now that I have seen the both of you, I am ready to go to be with Ha-shem (G-d). Thank you to Palliative Care at Riverview and St. Boniface Hospitals. Special thanks to Dr. Jeremy Lipschitz, Dr. Wong and Palliative Care Coordinator, Allison K. The funeral services were conducted by Rabbi Avraham Altein of the Chabad-Lubavitch Learning Centre. Yitzchak in eulogizing his mother referred to her as the perfect Mom and a Tzadakis a Righteous woman . In final testimony, Ruth was a kind, generous and caring person who will be dearly missed by her family, friends and community. She was a child-Holocaust survivor, a woman of faith. Her mother Genya - who was tortured by two Nazi soldiers trying to force out of her lips the whereabouts of her two little daughters, taught her to express her faith in the G-d of Israel by saying the Shema Yisroel each night before going to sleep, as is Jewish custom. That is what she did, from the first day she was taught it in Czernice, Poland by her martyred mother, till her last breath on earth in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her husband and children.


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