Wife, mother, bookkeeper, storyteller, font of wisdom. Born May 4, 1919, in Winnipeg, died Feb. 8, 2013, in Toronto of pneumonia, aged 93.
Anne Laveman grew up in a loving family in Winnipeg. She always spoke of “Papa” and “Mama” with great affection, and her many amusing and instructive tales about her siblings Goldie, Charlie and Earle were filled with warmth.
Her relationship with Goldie, her sometimes domineering older sister, was particularly close.
Anne loved to tell how, as young girls, she and Goldie had to share a bed and Goldie always made her sleep by the wall. Inevitably, after they had settled down, Goldie would say, “Annie, get me a glass of water.” Anne would dutifully climb over Goldie to do her bidding. One day, Anne said, “Goldie, the next time you ask me for a glass of water I am going to pour it on your head.” And the next time Goldie asked her, she did exactly that. Goldie never asked her again.
Anne was devoted to her husband, Johnny Pollock. An immigrant from Ukraine who maintained certain old-country attitudes, Johnny was sometimes puzzled by his “Canadian girl” with her modern ways. But their mutual love and respect was never in doubt.
Before marriage Anne had been a highly regarded bookkeeper, but she gave up her career to tend to her family. Nevertheless, she played a crucial role in Johnny’s very successful business, Clifford’s Ladies’ Wear in Winnipeg.
She took particular pride in keeping the company’s mailing list up to date. One evening, while the family was watching the news, there was a report of the particularly brutal murder of a local woman. Anne immediately leaped up to cross the woman’s name off the mailing list.
When her sons indignantly accused her of callousness, she, equally indignantly, replied that she was entirely motivated by a desire to spare the woman’s family the pain of receiving a mailing addressed to her.
Anne’s sons, who were well aware of her passion for order, did not believe this explanation for a moment.
Anne was a fund of common sense and humour. Her friends, “the girls,” frequently turned to her for down-to-earth advice, and she instilled in her sons her own self-assurance and a confidence that they would succeed in whatever they chose to do.
In her last years, Anne, who had never been at a loss for words, found verbal communication increasingly difficult. Nonetheless, to the very end, she found ways to express her continued love of her sons and their families, and her delight in their frequent visits.
She will be deeply missed by all who knew her, and the influence of her loving nature on her children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren, who never knew her directly, will remain for the rest of our lives.
Zailig, Nathan and Sid Pollock are Anne’s sons.