AA larger | smaller
BEN BLUM Ben Blum passed away peacefully on August 1, 2012, at the St. Boniface Hospital with his beloved wife at his side. Ben was predeceased by his parents Ancel and Freda, brother Chaim, sister Mady, and first wife Elvie, mother to Aviva and Lili. Ben is survived by his wife of 34 years, Shelley, and by his children Aviva (Steve), Lili (Mark), Jeff (Randall), and Marnie (Andrew) and by his grandchildren Emme Chepurny, Jake and Dylan Green, and Mica, Noa and Zane Smith. Born in Czernowitz, Romania, on March 20, 1926, Ben was separated from his family during the Holocaust and after the war made his way across Europe to Winnipeg as an orphan. He later located his family and brought them to Winnipeg as well. For the remainder of his life Ben celebrated his second birthday on August 25, 1930, which is the date shown on his immigration papers to Canada. Ben is best known to family and friends for his fun, outgoing nature, which he maintained to the very end of his life. He drew joy from those around him, especially around the pool with the snowbirds in Florida and with his friends on Corydon Avenue. Ben maintained strong ties with his fellow Survivors and drew strength from his heritage and as a Shaarey Zedek minionaire. Ben enjoyed a long career in the construction and property development business in Winnipeg and surrounding area. He was truly cosmopolitan and was at home in a wide variety of languages and cultures. He had a special connection to the Italian community, and he was an early participant in the re-gentrification of the Corydon Village area. Ben's family wish to thank Maria Barbosa and Maria Da Silva as well as the wonderful staff at Unit 5B of the St. Boniface Hospital, where he received excellent and compassionate care during the last four months of his life. Funeral services were held at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on Friday, August 3, 2012. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ben's memory can be made to Jewish Child and Family Services at 204-477-7430.
Publish Date: Aug 4, 2012
BEN BLUM Ben Blum passed away peacefully on August 1, 2012 at the St. Boniface Hospital. Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. A full obituary will follow.
Publish Date: Aug 3, 2012
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on August 04, 2012
Guest Book(4 entries)
- Young girls who spoke Yiddish were recruited through the UN Relief Agency's Orphan Program to become friends and companions for the Orphans (all boys at the time) until they spoke English. I was one of those girls and remember Ben with great respect and affection. For a while we would bump into each other from time to time in the north end. I heard about his loves and successes and we reminisced when we bumped into each other. I continued to recognize him a few times in the last 20 years since his appearance was so distinctive but there was no opportunity for connection.
He was always friendly, open and sincere. His family and friends must have lived well with Ben and I believe the world will remain a better place for his presence in it.
Esther Dolgoy Korchynski, Winnipeg
- Posted by: Esther Dolgoy Korchynski (friend when Ben arrived in Winnipeg) on: Aug 31, 2012
- My father at one time was an employee of
Benny Blum. My father which was from Italy
liked him for the fact that he knew how to
speak Italian. Nothing is forevever lost
even in death according to Daniel 12:2.
- Posted by: Giovanni (acquaintance) on: Aug 26, 2012
- Our deepest condolences for your loss.
- Posted by: Ida Petrilli and family on: Aug 14, 2012
- EULOGY - AT the FUNERAL
I look around and I see many familiar faces and know my father was blessed to have so many good friends and family who are here today to honour his life and his memory.
Some of you might remember him as Beny Blum, Two Coat Beny, Beno , Benito, and the Godfather of Corydon. The charismatic guy with the Zenya tailored suits, not a hair out of place, perfectly manicured nails, Nivea soft skin, and one spray too many of Paco Rabane cologne. To our family, he was a loving Uncle, Zaida, Husband….to me he was just Dad.
He would stand at my doorway…..so early on a saturday morning. I would stir. He’d whisper, are you up? “Not really”, my standard reply. Soon he’d be bribing me with breakfast and the promise of a day running "fun" errands. He knew he didn’t have to bribe. It was my favorite time of all, just the two of us. And although I heard it often, my heart would sore when he’d tell his crew – “This is my right hand girl.”
But there were times he’d embarrass me. My father would talk to anyone, on elevators, airplanes, in restaurants or through an open car window. Didn’t matter, the world was his buffet of experiences and connecting with people, listening, engaging and bringing that special spark of Beny Blum -- it brought so much joy. People loved to be around him……..I felt sad for a moment thinking what we’ve lost in such a man but I realized he lives on through my sister Lili who brings the same curiosity, love and truly attracts people like the Pied Piper. His love of life - lives through her.
Our mother Elvie passed when we were just girls breaking onto the shores of womanhood. How hard would it be without her? My father stepped into the role of amazing Dad with a vengeance, carefully balancing his incredible workload to spend as much time with us as possible. And as we became young women and into adulthood with families of our own, never a day passed that we didn’t speak.
He was a lucky man our father but not without hardship. A Holocaust survivor he began a new journey in Italy where he began working for the Haganah - the Israeli Military. His fluency in Italian and knowledge of the mountainous terrain allowed him to help smuggle Jews into Italy and then to Israel.
He then worked as a policeman in the Displacement camps in Italy.
As he had lost all contact with his family he was able to come to Canada through the UN Relief Agency's Orphan Program. Once in Winnipeg he applied his experience from his father to start a painting trade and eventually found and brought his surviving family to Winnipeg in 1956. He married my mother in 1962 and their shared love of art created Gallery Fore, the art gallery they both nurtured and adored.
But he was not just lucky in life but in love. How many men find true love a second time. My father found that in Shelley. They were simpatico in so many ways and especially on the dance floor. Crowds would part just to watch them glide across the floor. Shelley and Dad had such a life together. They danced through 35 wonderful years. Shelly was so devoted to him through his illness and by his side for his very last dance.
Jeff and Marnie. I know how much you loved him and I also know how he loved you and your families.
Sarah - Uncle Beny will always love you and the times you spent together.
Joanne, Sam and your wonderful family more like sister and brother than cousins in our lives, thank you so much for your love and care for us and for Dad. He loved and respected you both very much.
Dad was also so proud of all his grandchildren Mica, Noah, Zane, Jake, Dylan, and Emme.
He sang Italian Opera divinely, built two incredibly successful business's Blum & Son Painting -- and Budget Construction, danced like Fred Estere, fiercely supported his family and friends, helped people in need he barely knew and always defended those he loved.
My father was born August 25. Well that was his birthday until he brought my Grandmother to Canada and discovered he was actually born March 20th. My father saw perks. Two cakes, two sets of presents until it was Too Much already. Pick one we pleaded. SO, March 20th it was. Sure enough there was a knock on the door --August 25th. Only my father would send a bouquet of flowers to himself, remembering his birthday lost.
The biggest perk of all came with discovered Russian documents proving an earlier birth year……with 4 years of back CCP payments being the eternal optomist he said "I don't feel 4 years older, but I'm 4 years richer!
The simplest thing I can say about my father is this: He was a force of nature, a perfect storm of a man. In his path things happened, things moved. Nothing stayed still. He was persevering, on fire with possibility, full of joy and verve for life’s ever changing experiences. He was an optimist. He loved to laugh and to sing. He loved to please. He filled his life with hope even if there was little reason.
It was difficult for him as his health failed. Always used to being in control, it was hard to concede to the body and the mind’s imperfections and the growing need to depend on others for support. Always a giver, now he had to receive. But through it all he still loved to laugh.
I remember my friends used to call the house he’d say “They’re out walkin the dog” They’d say BUT Mr. Blum, you don’t have a dog”…..many years later we have Barking Along, a successful business and more dogs to walk than EVEN he could have imagined. He’d joke that it was the Romanian gypsy in him that could tell our future.
Being the daughter of an alleged Romanian Gypsy I will make my own prediction. I see your legacy Dad. We will remember, honour and love you. We will aspire to live our lives with the high standards you set for all of us, you will endure, your hopes and your dreams we will carry in our hearts forever.
Not goodbye Dad, Until we meet again.
- Posted by: Aviva Blum Chepurny (Daughter) on: Aug 4, 2012
Share your memories and/or express your condolences below. Fields marked with a * are required. All others are optional.
Tributes will be moderated for inappropriate content before displaying on the passage and may take up to 24 hours to appear.