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FRANCES ROY  (published on July 25, 2009)

FRANCES ROY (ROITELMAN) On Friday, July 10, 2009 the family and friends of Frances (Fradel Roitelman) Roy gathered to remember and celebrate her life at Congregation Etz Chayim Synagogue following her passing, at the age of 96 years. She was predeceased by her husband David in 1995. Frances is survived by her children, Benny Roitelman (Audrey), Barry Roy (Clara), Martin Roy (Marcia), and Goldie Shinewald (Mark); her grandchildren, Jerry, Renee, Robert, Brian, Michael and Jeffrey and great-grandsons Evan, Dustin, Gavriel and Rafael. While Frances was a survivor in the broadest sense, overcoming hardship, tragedy and horror through the war years, she lived her life with independence, quiet dignity, caring and integrity. Frances was born in 1913 in the Village of Snovodovich, in Poland, the eldest daughter of seven children. Her mother died when Frances was six years old, leaving her to care for her six siblings. As a girl in Snovodovich, Frances had only completed grade eight, yet showed great intelligence and quick wit, learning to speak Yiddish, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Hebrew and later English. Frances lost most of her family during the Second World War and the Holocaust. She survived the war with an aunt on a Soviet farm, deep in Kazakhstan. During the brutal winters and scorching summers, she worked in the fields to help feed her family. Following the war, she discovered that her sister Sheindl and brother Herschel has also survived. Frances met her husband David and had their first child, Barry, in Germany before attempting to reach Palestine as was the dream of every survivor. While her quest for a better life bought Frances, her husband David and small child Barry, aboard the Haganah Ship Exodus 1947, it was mercilessly turned back by British Naval Forces and all aboard were returned to Germany. It was only through survival instinct that Frances recalled the address of extended family in Winnipeg, that they immigrated to Canada in 1948 and settled in Winnipeg. Frances found employment wherever she could before she and David opened a first then a second grocery store in the North End. McGregor Shopping Centre was a fixture for over 20 years, serving the community as well as being frequented by Talmud Torah students who remember it fondly. After retirement Frances resided in Chateau West on Jefferson Avenue. There Frances lived independently until her passing and was known to all as an open-minded, intelligent and resourceful lady, to whom her friends and neighbours turned for assistance in all matters. Her passing brings to an end an era in our history and she will be missed by all her who knew her. May she rest in peace Donations may be made in Frances' memory to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, (204) 944-2476 or the Gwen Sector Creative Living Centre.

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