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Obituary: SAMUEL TRACHTENBERG

March 19, 2013

The family of Samuel Trachtenberg sadly announces his passing on February 19, 2013. He was preceded by his parents of blessed memory Reeva and Mendel (Max), beloved grandson David, and his dear sister Sophie (Charna), with whom he had a very close relationship. He is survived by his wife Lillian, his three children Henry (Lynne), Murray (Adeena), and Rietta (Jerry), grandchildren Robbie (Buffie), Jennifer, Michael, Matthew (Eva), Stephen (Heather), Aaron, Ari, Rachael, and Tali, and great-grandchildren Noah, Ava, Taye, and River, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Sam was born on December 22, 1919, in Nova Zelitza, Roumania, near Khotin, not far from Chernowitz, now part of Ukraine. He immigrated to Canada, arriving with his parents and sister in Winnipeg in 1926. Living on Burrows Avenue in the city's North End, the family adjusted to Canadian life, and in poor circumstances, survived the Depression. Sam attended Winnipeg public schools and graduated from Talmud Torah cheder (Hebrew School) in 1933. When war broke out in September, 1939, he volunteered for the Canadian Army. Rejected because of poor eyesight, he received military training in a university battalion. Described by a cousin as always studying , on an Isbister Scholarship he attended the University of Manitoba where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1942 and the University of Toronto where he graduated with a Master of Arts in Economics in 1943.

In Winnipeg, Sam became friends with Neil, a member of the Vanular family. He delivered groceries by bicycle from a corner store to the family, and under the pretext of visiting Neil, began courting Neil's youngest sister, Lillian. Sam and Lillian, whose family moved to Montreal, were married there in January, 1945. Sam entered the Ph.D. program in Economics at McGill University, and began a thesis on the impact of national railway transportation policy on Manitoba's economy. He lectured in European economic history at the University of Manitoba and in Economics at Carleton College (later Carleton University) in Ottawa. Joining the federal government, Sam served in the departments of Finance, Reconstruction and Supply, and in senior positions, in Fisheries, and Northern Affairs and Natural Resources. In 1959, Sam and Lillian and their three children moved to Winnipeg where he joined the Department of Industry and Commerce and was executive secretary and senior economist of the Manitoba Development Authority, a co-ordinating committee of Cabinet and deputy ministers. In 1963, Sam returned to academia, joining the staff of the University of Manitoba School of Commerce, subsequently the Faculty of Commerce, Faculty of Administrative Studies, and now the Asper School of Business. From 1968 to 1974, he was Professor and Head, Department of Public Policy, in the Faculty, and from 1974 to 1981, Professor in the Department. He retired in 1981, but later taught for both the University of Manitoba, and the Political Studies Department at the University of Winnipeg.

The author or co-author of several publications, Sam was the executive secretary to or research director of Government of Manitoba reports and royal commissions on the provincial economy. Sam was devoted to his wife Lillian, with whom he travelled to Israel, Hawaii, Fiji, Jamaica, Brazil, and other destinations. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In October, 2010, Sam moved to the Simkin Centre to reside with Lillian. He was equally devoted to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He never missed his grandchildren's varied activities and often was their chauffeur. He overcame many difficulties in his life, including extreme poverty during the Depression, tuberculosis in the early 1940s (he was at the Ninette Sanatorium), and emergency surgery in 1971. In this sense, he was a survivor and his life was a triumph over adversity.

The family wishes to thank the staff on Weinberg 3 at the Simkin Centre of the Sharon Home for their dedication in caring for Sam, Sam's devoted caregiver Manny Aranez, Rabbi Lander and Shelley Sklover of the Etz Chayim Synagogue, Rabbi Green and the administration of the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, and Rabbi Shmuly and Mrs. Adena Altein of Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Learning Centre. Sam, Dad, Zaida, and great-Zaida, Rest in Peace. May your memory be for a blessing. If family and friends wish, donations may be made to their charity of choice.

Sam's contribution to the development of the Department of Public Policy as Head and Professor for the period 1964 to 1981 was outstanding. His background in government and other academic institutions played a critical role in the design and delivery of courses in Public Policy. He also was a good friend to many in the School. He lived a good life and will be missed.

 
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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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