Birth: May 20, 1910 in Dysart, Regina, Saskatchewan
Death: August 16, 1991 (age 81) in Victoria, B.C.
Rabbi Victor Hillel Reinstein gave the following eulogy at her funeral:
Funeral: August 19, 1991
Yahrzeit: 6 Elul
In the Jewish calendar, we are now in the midst of a period known as the “seven weeks of comfort”, a time when God offers special comfort and helps us to prepare to enter the new year. It seems particularly fitting that Ann Libby has died during this period, for she was a comforter, one who was always present to console and also to laugh and to celebrate and to remember little and big moments in the lives of others. On the very Shabbat whose eve she died we read words of God’s comfort from the prophet Isaiah; “I, I am the One Who will comfort you.” These are words that we might have applied to her, and even now continue to apply to her, for even after death her memory shall continue to provide comfort. In this season of special nearness to us, God shall comfort us with the gift of memory and the gift of our, of your being near to each other as we remember her.
Ann was the quintessential mother, a model mother, the one who was always there, for whom family and home was the framework of her life. Charitable and hospitable, there was always room in her home. She was a great cook, able to create delicious meals from seemingly nothing, and provide for all. Abe, you expressed it so simply, “absolutely, her whose life, as she as I’m sittin’ here, her family was her whole life.” And each of you her children, Louise, Harvey, Marian and Con, you felt her love equally. She was like a reservoir, filling your cups equally, giving to all of you of herself in abundance, always treating you equally, the same concern for each of you. She felt your pain and sorrow and she shared your joy. Surely there has been much of both, the bitter and the sweet in your lives and for all of that, which makes up life’s fullness, she was there. Her presence and love spanned the generations, to 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She never forgot birthdays, even as the blessings multiplied. Nor did her excitement upon seeing new life diminish. On her 64th wedding anniversary, the gift of her 12th great-grandchild was brought to her and she put her hands to her face with thrilled astonishment. She never missed a grandchild’s wedding, and with such joy she celebrated the births of their children. The circle of her family was wide. With her sister-in-law there was a wonderful sisterly relationship.
This season is a season of comfort and also a season that expresses the beauty of deep love. This is the Hebrew month of Elul. The rabbis taught tat the Hebrew letters of Elul and the first letters in the words from the verse in the “Song of Songs”, “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me.” Abe, Ann’s death in this season points to the beauty of your 65, almost 66 years of marriage. Yours was a marriage as uncommonly deep in love as in years. You expressed to beautifully the constant newness and depth of love when you said so humble, “I realized and learned more in the last 2 years of how much she meant to me than ever before. To me she was an angel.” It is also in the Song of Songs that “love is as strong as death.” So may Ann continue to inspire you to live, Abe, as you reflect on her life and the marriage that joined the two of you over so many years.
The circle of Ann’s life also went beyond the family. She was a member of Rebecca lodge and a life member of Hadassah. She was always ready to help, pitching in with knitting and sewing for fund raisers. She never shirked responsibility. She also hated to be a bother to anyone. Even in her last days, she told the woman staying in the night in order to help her, not to get up – she could manage.
Ann was a spunky woman who travelled to Vancouver to meet you there, Abe, in order to get married. She enjoyed curling and an occasional trip to Reno, even with cane in hand. Throughout your journey together, Abe she was always there for you, your children, for the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren. In this season of comfort may we feel her presence in a special way. May God’s comfort be felt in how you, her family, now continue to reach out to each other as she reached out to you. So will she continue to be with you and give you her mother’s comfort, and so shall her memory be for a blessing.
Gravesite Details: Row G – Plot 10
LOVED BY ALL
Abraham Libby (1901–1993)