All Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z Welcome Home
Local Folders.. A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
-1 +1

"SZE" 2005 Obituary


SZEDLECKI  SZEGVARY  SZEKERES  SZEMAN  SZENEGETO  SZEPS  SZEREMETA  SZERENYI 

SZEDLECKI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-08-22 published
'Nobody's daughter' spoke up
Ann SZEDLECKI's Holocaust tale
Survivor told her story until the end
By Catherine DUNPHY, Obituary Writer
Ann SZEDLECKI was a powerful and popular speaker for Toronto's Holocaust Centre.
"I think you are brave for standing up in front of a bunch of students to tell your story; it must have been hard to tell us some of those awful memories from your past," wrote one student from King City Secondary School.
"I don't think I would last as long as you did. Unlike me, you never gave up," wrote another.
"It opened my eyes and informed me about something I knew little about," a third student commented.
And a fourth wrote: "I believe that people like yourself, who struggled during the war, should speak out and share their stories."
But SZEDLECKI, who died of cancer May 7 at 79 and was buried on Mother's Day, had to be talked into telling her story. At 14 she was alone in Siberia, sentenced to six months of hard labour, her brother imprisoned for supposed political crimes, but she always said she was never in a concentration camp and therefore really wasn't a Holocaust survivor.
"At first she was a bit reluctant to talk, especially with an Auschwitz survivor like me," recalled Judy COHEN, who as co-chair of the Holocaust Centre's speaker bureau interviewed all potential speakers four or five years ago when SZEDLECKI was approached to tell her story.
"I said 'Ann, you lost your family. The end result is you are a Holocaust survivor of a different sort. It's good for people to know there are varied experiences.'"
That accomplished, COHEN had to then talk SZEDLECKI out of telling her story the way she was accustomed to: as an adventure story of a spirited young girl.
"I think she missed the point of her own suffering," said COHEN. "I told her to tell them the absolute truth and put it in an historical context, otherwise it is just a sad story. As I said to her 'You didn't enjoy the adventure.'"
SZEDLECKI listened and became a fine speaker, someone who understood that this kind of storytelling is more educational than cathartic.
"Her story became what it should be," said COHEN.
But first she wrote it down over the 10 years in which she attended Toronto author Sylvia WARSH's creative writing classes at the Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living.
"My mother became a whole other person once she muttered the words 'I am a writer,'" said her daughter, Lynda KRAAR.
"She was a natural storyteller," said WARSH, who helped SZEDLECKI produce a 200-page autobiographical manuscript. "Look at page three, starting 'I am nobody's daughter.' It is great stuff."
Her manuscript begins as Ann FRAJLICH is leaving the Soviet Union after six years, leaving behind the unmarked grave of her brother Shoel -- dead at 23 from tuberculosis contracted as a result of being arrested for cooked-up political crimes, tortured and imprisoned -- and leaving with only a bag of dried bread, a jar of melted butter, a few clothes and size 12 shoes on her feet.
She is returning to her hometown of Lodz, Poland, even though her entire family had died in the Warsaw Ghetto.
"I am nobody's daughter, nobody's sister, nobody's granddaughter, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt or cousin," she wrote. "My past is all gone, it disappeared."
In 1940, her worried parents had sent her off with her brother to the Soviet Union where they would work for one year to "wait out, hopefully, the short war," as she wrote. They were transported to Ridder (later renamed Leninogorsk) in western Kazakhstan, in Siberia, about 500 kilometres from the Chinese border.
And it was true, she was a bit giddy over what she considered to be a great adventure, excited to be going to a new place and to be out on her own. She didn't even mind when she was put to work painting bathhouses and enrolled in school. But after her brother was arrested, she was thrown out of the school and ended up hauling bricks, then later peeling potatoes and washing dishes in a mining cafeteria.
When she took three days off work without permission to bury her brother in the frozen spring of 1943, she was sentenced to six months of hard labour in appalling conditions at a labour camp. She lugged railway ties to build a new line, shovelled snow to clear roads, cut down trees and freed logs from a frozen river, but she was also carrying the grief of her brother's death and her guilt that she wasn't with him when he died.
After being released she volunteered to work underground in the mines, loading the ore into wagons. She hated it but, typically, wrote instead about "the miracle of my survival" in which she left the pile of ore she was sitting on to boldly ask the foreman for a cigarette -- and just as he handed her a smoke, the pile collapsed. "I could've been buried under tons of ore," she cheerfully concluded.
"I can even go so far as claiming that smoking saved my life."
(The children and students to whom she later told that story just loved it.)
"Since she was 14, my mother has been invincible," said KRAAR.
She married soon after the war, a man who was 11 years her senior, a concentration camp survivor with the numbers forever burned into his forearm. Abraham SZEDLECKI was "a wounded, traumatized and sad guy," according to his daughter and the marriage was never a happy one, although it lasted until her death.
The couple moved to Canada in 1953 after three years living in Israel and both went to work in the garment district. He pressed coats, she sewed on buttons. But it wasn't long before the boss promoted her to bookkeeping duties in the office and even though she'd had no experience doing books, she learned fast.
Although Abraham stayed in the factory, she left her job in 1965 when a store out on Albion Rd. became available.
"She took out a loan for $5,000 -- this little Holocaust lady with Grade 7 education -- when all her Friends were saying don't do it," her daughter recalled.
For years, her women's clothing store was the most successful business in the Shoppers World Mall on Albion Rd. KRAAR -- SZEDLECKI's only child and travel companion on holidays -- had married and moved to New Jersey by the time SZEDLECKI retired in 1990.
"They were close, closer than I could imagine," said Masha AMI, KRAAR's best friend since they met at camp when they were 11.
"I could see they were not only mother and daughter but Friends."
The Friendship was always volatile, however, as both were strong, talented and stubborn women who liked to do things their way.
As SZEDLECKI and her husband had long been leading separate lives although continuing to share their Bathurst Manor area bungalow, she threw herself into volunteer work.
She had always been involved with her Masada chapter of Hadassah-Women's International Zionist Organization, but she began driving for the Kosher Meals on Wheels program and serving on a committee managing funds provided to survivors through the Jewish Material Claims Against Germany Inc.
She kept up her writing and her talks until the last year of her life.
Her husband, suffering from Alzheimer's, moved into a care facility, but she stayed where she was determined to be, in her own home. KRAAR said she kicked into overdrive, often staying for weeks to care for her weakening mother in her home.
SZEDLECKI died in her home listening to show tunes and singer Theodore Bikel.
And as far as KRAAR is concerned, her mother's story isn't over. She's writing a show about her mother's life. One song is finished, which KRAAR, an amateur musician and publicist, performed in a small club in New York City recently. It was part of Mamapalooza, a celebration of mothers.

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZEDLECKI - All Categories in OGSPI

SZEGVARY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-06-15 published
MURPHY, David Knox
Born January 26, 1917 in Winnipeg, died peacefully June 10, 2005, in Toronto. Dave was a warm, kind, out-going, generous man who lived life with a positive outlook and a deep sense of gratitude. He joined Barber-Ellis (Barbecon) at age 17 and retired 48 years later in 1982 as President. Dave was an avid golfer and a member at The Hunt Club and a long time member of Rotary. Throughout his life Dave was active in his Church. Dave is predeceased by Peggy, his loving wife and best friend of 60 years and by his brother Kenneth (Helen,) sisters Kathleen (Jim) GRAHAM and Peggy (Sid) MALLIN. Dave will be sadly missed by his two sons and their wives Ken and Jean and Dave and Cherry and by his daughter and husband Marnie and Kal SZEGVARY and granddaughters Shannon, Christine and Traci and great-granddaughter Emma, as well as many other family members and Friends. A celebration of Dave's life will be held on Monday, June 20th at 1: 30 p.m. at Lawrence Park Community Church, 2180 Bayview Avenue, Toronto M4N 3K9 (416) 489-1551. Flowers gratefully declined. If Friends so desire a memorial donation may be made to the outreach program 'Out of the Cold' c/o Lawrence Park Community Church.

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZEGVARY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-06-14 published
MURPHY, David Knox
Born January 26, 1917, in Winnipeg, died peacefully June 10, 2005, in Toronto. Dave was a warm, kind, out-going, generous man who lived life with a positive outlook and a deep sense of gratitude. He joined Barber-Ellis (Barbecon) at age 17 and retired 48 years later in 1982 as President. Dave was an avid golfer and a member at The Hunt Club and a long time member of Rotary. Throughout his life Dave was active in his Church. Dave is predeceased by Peggy, his loving wife and best friend of 60 years and by his brother Kenneth (Helen,) sisters Kathleen (Jim) GRAHAM and Peggy (Sid) MALLIN. Dave will be sadly missed by his two sons and their wives Ken and Jean and Dave and Cherry and by his daughter and husband Marnie and Kal SZEGVARY and granddaughters Shannon, Christine and Traci and great-granddaughter Emma, as well as many other family members and Friends. A celebration of Dave's life will be held on Monday, June 20th at 1: 30 p.m. at Lawrence Park Community Church, 2180 Bayview Ave., Toronto, M4N 3K9, (416) 489-1551. Flowers gratefully declined. If Friends so desire, a memorial donation may be made to the outreach program "Out of the Cold" c/o Lawrence Park Community Church.

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZEGVARY - All Categories in OGSPI

SZEKERES o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2005-08-15 published
SZEKERES, Alex (April 9, 1953-August 15, 2004)
Always on our minds
Forever in our hearts!
A year...went by without you. We pause, and wonder how we could continue on, but the lessons of love and life you gave us have given us strength to move beyond our tears.
Each moment, each day we cherish the memories, the gifts you left with us. Your very essence, your wisdom, strength, courage and "la joie de vivre" with which you embraced life will remain eternal in each one of us you loved.
Your epitaph reveals your message to all....
Life is Beautiful - Live it!

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZEKERES - All Categories in OGSPI

SZEMAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-01-22 published
KALISZ, George
Passed away, at Northumberland Hills Hospital, Cobourg, on Thursday, January 20, 2005. George KALISZ, beloved husband of Vera SEMENIW. Loving father of Kristina. Brother of Olga SZEMAN, Lydia KALISZ, and the late Leon and Nick KALISZ. Survived by sisters-in-law Myra and Sonia KALISZ and their families. Friends will be received at the Allison Funeral Home, 103 Mill Street North, Port Hope, Sunday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Service Monday 1 p.m. If desired, memorial contributions may be made by cheque to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society. www.allisonfuneralhome.com

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZEMAN - All Categories in OGSPI

SZENEGETO o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2005-11-28 published
WALKER, Robert
Peacefully at Victoria Hospital on November 20th, 2005, Mr. Robert WALKER of London in his 57th year. Loving brother of Sandra SZENEGETO of Leamington, Wayne WALKER of Florida, Jackie WALKER of Windsor and Cheryl PETIT of Windsor. Predeceased by his parents Robert and Betty WALKER. Also survived by several nieces and nephews. Private family arrangements entrusted to Needham Funeral Services, 520 Dundas Street, London. Tributes may be left at www.mem.com

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZENEGETO - All Categories in OGSPI

SZEPS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-12-21 published
NEWMAN, James David
Passed away quietly and peacefully on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at West Park Health Clinic, in his 83rd year. Jim was the younger son of Charlotte ECCLESTONE and Herbert NEWMAN, brother-in-law of Barbara and brother of the late Ted NEWMAN. Loving husband of Elizabeth (Betty) HULL and dear father of Suzie and Terry NEWMAN, Paddy, husband Paul SZEPS, and Christine, husband George KAWA. Dear grandpa, grampy and poppy of Tyler, Hailey, Stevie, Jack and Cary. Jim worked at the Alliance Paper Mill and Thorold Concrete Block Company before joining Newman Bros. Ltd., General Contractors, founded by his grandfather, Jabez, in 1878. Jim became office manager and then president of the company. He was an active and dedicated alderman on City Council for six years. He was a zealous participant in numerous construction associations. In later years, he was on the Board of Directors and Board of Governors of the Shaver Hospital and served devotedly for seventeen years. He had been a member of the Niagara Falls Club, St. Catharines Golf and Curling Club and a long time member of the St. Catharines Club. The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Earl HUNT who has been so attentive and caring, and to the administrative staff, nurses, aides and all workers who attended Jim with competence and kindness at West Park Health Clinic. The family will receive Friends at the Hulse and English Funeral Home and Chapel, 75 Church Street, 905-684-6346 on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The Funeral Service will take place at Saint Thomas Anglican Church on Ontario Street, on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 at 2: 00 p.m. Cremation will take place following the service. The family would appreciate expressions of sympathy be donated to the Shaver Hospital Foundation. Memorial tributes may be made online at www.mem.com.

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZEPS - All Categories in OGSPI

SZEREMETA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-06-19 published
SEED, Jimmy
Passed away at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie on Friday, June 17, 2005 in his 59th year. Jimmy SEED is the loving husband of Joanne of Innisfil. Loving father of Brian and his wife Angela, and Kelly SEED. Papa of Makayla and Alexis. Survived by his sister Linda SZEREMETA (Casey) and by his nephew Scott. Jimmy will be fondly remembered by his parents Mac and Margaret SEED. Friends may call at the Innisfil Funeral Home, 7910 Yonge Street (Stroud) (705) 431-1717 on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A funeral service will be held in the chapel on Tuesday, June 21st at 1: 00 p.m. Cremation. As your expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Children's Wish Foundation. Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at jimmyseed@innisfilfuneralhome.ca

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZEREMETA - All Categories in OGSPI

SZERENYI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-04-03 published
SZERENYI, Elizabeth (née SZAKACS)
Peacefully, on April 1, 2005 at West Oaks Village in Oakville, after struggling with Parkinson's Disease for several years. Elizabeth, loving wife of the late Joseph of 36 years. Second youngest of 10 children of the late Mr. and Mrs. SZAKACS of Parad, Hungary. Beloved mother of Alex and his wife Susan, and Peter and his wife Cathy. Cherished grandma of Charles, Michael and Sharon. Mrs. SZERENYI immigrated to Canada in 1949 with her dear friend Anna KNAUTZ and was a resident of Scarborough for 16 years. She was quick with a joke and kept people smiling everywhere, especially her Friends at Kensington Retirement Home and West Oaks Village. Friends may visit at the Jerrett Funeral Home, 660 Kennedy Road, Scarborough (between Eglinton and St. Clair Aves. E.) on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass on Wednesday at 10: 30 a.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, 432 Sheppard Ave. E. Interment Pine Hills Cemetery. If so desired, donations to the Parkinson Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

  S... Names     SZ... Names     SZE... Names     Welcome Home

SZERENYI - All Categories in OGSPI