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"LOT" 2003 Obituary


LOTEM o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-03 published
Stanley GOLVIN
By Philip MASS, Thursday, July 3, 2003 - Page A26
Businessman, husband, father, and grandfather. Born August 22, 1918, in Kielce, Poland. Died May 5, in Toronto, of an apparent heart attack, aged 84.
Stanley GOLVIN was a man who had a strong impact on others: individuals who literally owe their lives and their livelihoods to him; countless Friends, colleagues, and employees to whom Stanley was a mentor and a benefactor.
Not that Stanley was always an easy guy to be with. He was complicated and a man of many contradictions. He was exacting in his expectations of himself and others. Even so, he commanded unqualified loyalty, affection, and respect from even those of whom he was most relentlessly demanding. On the whole, we will remember Stanley fondly for his penchant for ideas and for his unwavering qualities of generosity, loyalty, courage, and just plain smarts.
Stanley's life was marked forever by the devastation that the Holocaust brought to what had been a rather commonplace life in Poland. Stanley spent most of the war in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Stanley managed to survive years in the camp even as he put his life in jeopardy time and again to bring food to other starving inmates and to help fellow prisoners escape. Astonishingly, he then managed to escape himself. This period in Stanley's life was not one that he could put behind him easily, nor did he wish to; he did his part in memorializing the Holocaust in several ways, including a video testimony as part of Steven Spielberg's Shoah initiative.
Stanley emerged from the war, like so many others, without a country, without a home, without an intact family, and without material resources. He did, however, come away with one thing of incalculable value: a worldwide network of devoted Friends with whom he shared a common experience that only he and they could truly comprehend.
Not long after the war, Stanley came to New York, determined to achieve personal security. In New York he met Sharon GREEN who soon became Sharon GOLVIN. They set roots in Sharon's home city of Toronto and Stanley, with a partner, opened a furniture store. The business flourished and developed into an impressive chain of outlets. Still restless, Stanley then set out to build the real estate business: that was his passion and is his legacy to his children.
Meanwhile Stanley's family flourished as well, with the birth of Stuart and Ilene and the eventual establishment of their own families. Then, in 1992, came the second tragedy of Stanley's life: the passing of Sharon. And yet, for a second time in his life, out of devastation came rebirth. Ella LOTEM, who Stanley had first romanced in Poland some 45 years earlier, moved to Toronto from Israel to marry him. A softer and mellower Stanley started to allow himself to sit back and enjoy some of life's pleasures, particularly his five grandchildren who adored him.
Stanley shared with me recently that he never could have believed that he would live so long. He was truly amazed by his long and fruitful life, grateful for the "mazal" that had been his companion, and I believe he was now resigned that his time had come. As Stanley would say, "I'm on overtime now."
When Stanley's four-year-old grand_son Benn was told that his Zaidy had died, Benn responded uncertainly, "But he'll be alive again, right?" Intent on having Benn understand the situation, we lost sight of the wisdom in his magical thinking. Indeed Zaidy will be alive again in a very real sense as Stanley's memory and his spirit remain alive and continue to guide us for ward. But before we could affirm this notion with Benn, he uttered simply, and in a soft voice, "But I love Zaidy." As we all do.
Philip MASS is Stanley GOLVIN's son-in-law.

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