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Date of Passing: Jan 21, 2005

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LARRY JOSEPH GELLER 1937 - 2005 Died peacefully on January 21, 2005 at the Health Sciences Centre after a long illness. Larry leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 35 years, Bonnie, of Whytewold, Manitoba; his daughters, Gavriela and Elana; his son Akiva; and his sister Shirley. Larry was predeceased by his mother Rebecca and his father Sam. The funeral took place at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery on January 23rd, with Rabbi Altein officiating. The pallbearers were: Lanny Silver, Myron Love, Arie Perlmutter, Steve Rome, Jack Tapper, Jim Weidman; and honorary pallbearer Lionel Steiman. Larry grew up in Winnipeg's North End. From childhood he had a great love of literate and language. He spoke at least six languages fluently. Larry was a member of Hashomer Hatzair, which imbued him with a love of Judaism and Israel. At the age of 16, he went to Israel and lived on a kibbutz until he returned to Winnipeg a few years later to start his studies at the University of Manitoba in the English Department. He earned the degrees of B.A. Honours and B.Ed at the University of Manitoba, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at UBC. Larry met Bonnie in 1968 and they were married in 1969. Both became teachers and taught throughout Canada and Israel. Larry was also a gifted writer. His poetry was published in many quarterlies; he also published a book of poems, Apples, Walnuts and Wine (1980), which was a poetic memoir of the Jewish North End of his youth. In addition, he wrote a weekly column in the Winnipeg Free Press, Word Wise , from 1970 to 1977, in which he was given free reign to expound on his love of etymology. He wrote a popular science column for the Ottawa Citizen and appeared many times on CBC radio, including a 12-week guest appearance on This Country in the Morning , where he did a series on the history of the English language, as well as weekly spots on science for CBC Ottawa. Larry was a deeply spiritual man, having accompanied his beloved grandfather to the Lubavitch Synagogue from early childhood. In later years, he studied the Kabbalah and the Zohar. Larry was able to combine all of his interests with his interest in Mac computers, and found ways to continue studying and teaching over the Internet. The family would like to thank the nurses and the staff of the Gimli Community Hospital for their compassionate care during his last few months, as well as the staff of D4, Health Sciences Centre, including Doctors Vanameyde, Lamba and Penner. Thanks also to the Gimli EMS personnel, who showed genuine care and concern on the many trips they took with Larry. Thanks to Rabbi Altein and friends and relatives who comforted Larry during his illness, and to Bill Weissmann of the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue for his support of the family during the Shiva period. Donations in Larry's memory can be made to the Jewish National Fund or the Gimli Community Hospital Healing Garden, or to a charity of one's choice. In the blue sepulchre cold of the year, In this utmost season, most removed, From the warm beaches and the Carolina sky, Of your true season, my most dear friend, You were chosen again, selected by devine choice, And from the clasp of loving wife, children, And from your friends, who could not dream your death, And by your G-d - deemed mild and kind, You were summoned forth with all your luggage, Left behind - mostly unpacked, your gifts still wrapped, And only the sky weeps and the wind sings elegies. Larry Geller

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 29, 2005

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • A genius and genuine friend. Always remembered after all these years. - Posted by: Laura Steiman (old friend) on: Jun 10, 2014

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