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Born: Mar 25, 1928

Date of Passing: Feb 08, 2023

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March 25, 1928 - February 8, 2023

Stefan Carter died peacefully at age 95 at his River Heights home in Winnipeg on February 8, 2023 - or as he wanted it to be said: "He went to that Great Badminton Court in the Sky".
He was loved so much and will be greatly missed by his sons, Andrew and Joel Carter, his beautiful daughter-in-law Natalia Dorf and her circle of family and friends in Uruguay and Argentina, his beautiful grandchildren, Anouk and Alec who adored their grandfather, his niece and nephews, Sandy, David, Robert and Michael Herman and their families, Marianne Carter - stepdaughter of his beloved deceased cousin George Carter and wife Ibi, colleagues, friends and medical school classmates that are still living from the Medical Class of 1954, close neighbours and adopted family Judy Werier and Leon Fainstein, Pam Poulter and Kevin Freisen. Stefan has one blood relative left, in England - the lovely Sandra Brockman and her husband Charlie.
He was predeceased by his parents, Janina and Waclaw Reicher and other members of his first family in Poland who were murdered by the Nazis. He was also predeceased by his beloved wife Emilee Naomi Carter (née Horn), from Peekskill, NY, who he met in New York City and was an artist and English Teacher.
He was orphaned as a young child and survived the Warsaw ghetto by escaping with the help of beloved relatives outside the Warsaw Ghetto walls and kept safe in hiding by what he said was many good souls who did him good service. He would often say as well that "I had some luck when so many others didn't." It was by the good will of the sponsoring Kitzes family of Winnipeg (Mary, Volodia, Ben, Juliette, Barry, Marcy, Diane and Joel, and Sasha Daniels), who made it possible to immigrate to Canada post Second World War, with the help of Etta Brenner who met Stefan in the displaced person camps run by UNRRA, and arranged for help getting him to Canada.
After incredibly horrific years, traumatic experiences moving from Eastern Europe as a teenager, he was able to reinvent himself, reclaim his agency and appreciate so much in life. He attended the University of Manitoba, graduated from the Faculty of Medicine as a top level student (class of 1954) - when 'Jewish Quotas' were still in place in Medical Schools all across Canada. He did fellowships at Columbia University in New York and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and was director of the Vascular Lab at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg for decades, with a multitude of leading-edge research, book and chapter publications in the field of Vascular Medicine - presenting internationally at conferences around the world and seen as an authority in the field. He taught and lectured at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine - educating cohorts of medical students in physiology and vascular medicine for many decades including his son Joel - who was wise not to skip his father's lectures. Stefan received and was honoured in 2003 with a lifetime achievement 'St. Boniface HeartCare Award' by the St. Boniface Research Foundation. He retired from Medical Practice after serving the people of Manitoba for five decades.
Following his years of medical practice - he was a devoted husband who took care of his wife Emilee during her ill health - loyal and compassionate until her death in 2013. They both commemorated more than 50 years of marriage before Emilee died - having raised a family of two sons - imbuing them with broad experiences in sport, music, the arts, theatre, love of dogs, and raised them as free-thinkers for themselves with a breath of diverse experiences that life offers and beckons.
He lectured and presented to many groups on the horrors of the Holocaust with first-hand accounts and would often say that given the on-going terrible and horrific happenings in the world - he sadly did not hold out much hope for a species that continues to be so barbaric to its own kind. His experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Holocaust are part of the Holocaust Exhibition at the Canadian Museum For Human Rights in Winnipeg. He championed their mission, was a frequent visitor, and worked alongside many Winnipeg-based projects that honour the memory of Jewish families that lost loved ones during the Holocaust.
In spite of all the atrocities he experienced, he found joy and beauty in art, music and especially Mozart - and as an amateur musicologist he researched and wrote a beautiful, published work on the mystery of Mozart's death. He would often repeat the phrase that "when the angels play for God - they play Bach. When they play for themselves, they play Mozart."
The Manitoba Badminton Association honoured him in 2018 with the 'Sport for Life Award.' He chuckled that it was not so much for his badminton proficiency versus his lucky longevity and dedication to the sport he loved. Until he broke his hip on July 8 of last summer, Stefan lived at home alone, wonderfully content and happy, being surprised he had lived that long, trying to forever be "in the moment", playing his beloved badminton games two times / week, shopping, connecting with friends, and continually writing (though never finished) a new book he referred to as his "Opus" and that he entitled "The Holocaust and it's Aftermaths: A Window into Human Nature." In 2011 he published his memoir "From Warsaw to Winnipeg - A Personal Tale of Two Cities."
In the recent few weeks before his death, his evening habit of relishing blissfully to Mozart changed to listening solely to a three-minute piano solo, not by Mozart - but by Chopin. The beautiful, gentle piece was named "Adieu", or the Farewell Waltz. (Op 69, No. 1 in A Flat Major). He said it was his sign-off music.
As his daughter-in-law Natalia Dorf noted - "He was an incredible human and an example of resilience, hope and all the possibility that lives within us."
His return to the home he loved, after his injury, would not have been possible without the compassionate, exceptional caring work of the many home care Staff and Coordinators of Comforts of Home Care, Jessica Ness of River Heights Physical Therapy, and fitness trainer Andrew Kelinsasser - all of whom provided such wonderful support to Stefan - so much appreciated by him, Andrew and Joel. We would also like to thank the Jewish Child and Family Service organization and Adeena Lungen for the community-based support for Holocaust Survivors. Also, our eternal thanks to our Winnipeg community who offered support, visits, and healing hopes for our father. As well - our deep appreciation for the staff at Northway Broadway Pharmacy and the support of the expertise of Dr. Kevin Grace.
In keeping with 'Carter Family Tradition' - there will be no funeral - but there will be an upcoming book launch of Stefan's re-tooled new edition of his book, "Warsaw to Winnipeg", by the Azrieli Foundation, an organization that specializes in publishing the stories of holocaust survivors - on Monday, April 17 at the Jewish Community Centre in Winnipeg.

Please view his tribute page at

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 18, 2023

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • Dear Andrew, I was moved to hear about your father. What a life! And legacy for you. It's wonderful to learn more about you & your family. I am so sorry, what a huge loss, however inevitable. Wishing you the best, Amy - Posted by: Amy Taylor (friend) on: Mar 15, 2023

  • I was shocked to here of Stefan's death as I had not heard from him in quite some time. I was his computer tech and helped him on many occasions with his PC issues both at St. Boniface Hospital and at home. He was a very soft spoken man, but very sharp and intelligent. He would entertain me with his life stories and antidotes. He gave me a copy of his autobiography Warsaw to Winnipeg which I asked him to autograph, as well as a copy of his son Andrew's book, Rock People and have thoroughly enjoyed both. My condolences to Andrew and Joel and their families. - Posted by: Rick Masi (acquaintance) on: Mar 02, 2023

  • Professional respect over many years. Family and neighborhood connections. - Posted by: John, Marilyn Wade (Friends) on: Feb 26, 2023

  • Dr. Carter was a wonderful and inspirational human being. He so generously shared the horrors of his Holocaust experience in order to educate future generations and make this world a better place, which is certainly part of his profound lasting legacy. It was a privilege to work with him on bringing his story to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I offer heartfelt condolences to his family. May his memory be a blessing. - Posted by: Jeremy Maron (Acquaintance from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights) on: Feb 23, 2023

  • Wishing both Joel and Andrew our most sincere condolences. It was a wonderful obituary that would have made your dad proud. My parents were very close with Stefan and Emily over the years. My mum told me that we first met Stefan when he and my dad were both leaving the Mayo Clinic in 1959 moving on to Winnipeg, when I was only 4. She also told me that the first time I was allowed to ride a bike on my own was from my house on Queenston to your house on Elm St. Your dad was very special and one of a kind, including the same pumpernickel bread (probably from Gunn's) sandwich every day for lunch in the St. Boniface hospital basement cafeteria. He was very kind and thoughtful. I got a great appreciation for his life story when I read his book From Warsaw to Winnipeg and hope to see you both at the upcoming book launch, which will be a wonderful opportunity to honour your dad. All the best. John Michaels - Posted by: John Michaels (family friend) on: Feb 20, 2023

  • I was blessed to know Stefan for 20 + years. I am a better person for it. When I was invited to play with Stefan and his son last year at Prairie badminton, I viewed it as an honour. He was an exemplary example of a gentleman. I will miss him and think of him often and fondly. - Posted by: Mike Dubois (Friend ) on: Feb 18, 2023

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