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Memorable Manitobans: Bernice Ethel Marmel (1927-2021)

Health educator, community activist.

Born at Arran, Saskatchewan on 13 June 1927, daughter of Sam Machlin and Rose Hechter, she lived at the Winnipeg Jewish Orphanage after moving to Winnipeg then, as a teenager, lived with her aunt Sarah Hechter and uncle Fred Sures in River Heights. She attended Robert H. Smith School and Kelvin High School.

She married Max Marmel and moved with him to West Kildonan where she lived most of her life and had a daughter and a son. She obtained a BA degree from the University of Manitoba and, in 1986, a Masters degree in Health Education. She served on several boards and committees, including the Manitoba Council on Aging, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, Mount Carmel Clinic, Urban Idea Centre, North End Women’s Resource Centre, Food Network, ALCOA, and Winnipeg Public Library Board. She established a Friendly Visitors program for Age and Opportunity Inc. and a phone link for seniors from Deer Lodge Hospital. She was instrumental in the establishment of Macbeth House and Bleak House senior centres in Winnipeg’s North End.

In recognition of her community service, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and was inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2018).

She died at Winnipeg on 28 April 2021.

Sources:

Obituary, Jewish Post & News.

“A lifetime at the forefront,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 September 2021.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 September 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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