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Sheftel, Leo

Surrounded by his loving family, Leo Sheftel passed away peacefully on December 6, 2004 at the Rockyview General Hospital at the age of 91 years.

Leo was born in Ratna, Poland on July 7, 1913 and arrived in Calgary in 1926. He will always be remembered lovingly by his two daughters Harriet (Phil) Libin and Sheila (Ralph) Gurevitch. His memory will always be cherished by his five grandchildren, Sheryl (Howard) Ackman, Stuart (Toby) Libin, Illana (Henry) Morton, of Toronto, Darryl (Allison) Gurevitch and Jason (Cheryl) Gurevitch, and by his ten adoring great-grandchildren, Michael and Matthew Ackman, Sierra and Thea Libin, Joshua, Samara and Tyra Morton, Joseph Gadiel Gurevitch, and Jacob and Gabrielle Gurevitch. Leo was predeceased by his dear wife Goldie in 2002.

Leo was a well-respected and highly successful businessman in the City of Calgary. He placed great value in the friendships and relationships he developed throughout the years.

Shortly after arriving in Calgary with his parents at the age of thirteen, he showed his entrepreneurial spirit by selling newspapers in downtown Calgary. He later became involved in the Grocery business along with his brothers Harry and Ben. They operated a stall in the Old City Hall Market which was located where the Olympic Plaza is presently situated. He was also involved in the ownership and operation of the Empress Grocery Stores.

In 1961, he along with his partners entered the hospitality industry, opening and managing the Highlander Hotel. In 1968, the Carriage House Inn was built. Leo served as President and Manager until his retirement in 1999. It was during this time while serving the public in the hotel industry that he became known to many as “Mr. Hospitality.”

Leo found time to involve himself in many community projects and activities. He served as the first Chairman of the Calgary Convention Centre. He was actively involved for many years in the Calgary Convention and Visitors Bureau. Leo was honoured with a lifetime membership by the Calgary Hotel Association, was a Founder and served as President for over ten years at the Shaarey Tzedec Synagogue, and was a lifetime member of the Calgary B’nai Brith Lodge 816. He served on the Board of the Beth Tzedec Congregation, and was a lifetime member of the Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society). Leo was the recipient of the White Hatter Award in 1998. In addition, he served and supported many other organizations.

The family would like to express our thanks to dad’s caregivers, Zareena, Elizabeth, Marlena and Marilyn for all of their loving care, kindness and compassion.

To the many doctors that cared for dad, we would like to express our sincere gratitude. The staff at the Rockyview General Hospital – Unit 46, did everything that they could to make dad’s last days comfortable.

Funeral Services will be held at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue (1325 Glenmore Trail S.W., Telephone: (403) 255-8688) on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow at the Jewish Cemetery (30th Avenue and Erlton Street S.W.). If family and friends so desire, memorial donations may be made directly to the Goldie and Leo Sheftel Endowment Fund at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue, the Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary, #201, 222 – 58 Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 2S3 Telephone: (403) 290-0110, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements in care of the CHEVRA KADISHA OF CALGARY, 1702 – 17th AVENUE S.W. TELEPHONE: 244-4717.

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  1. Harvey Merkley :

    Best wishes to Leo’s family. I’ll always remember sitting in the Higlander talking to Leo and Don Mackay would be there often. Best wishes to the Sheftel family. I enjoyed the apple strudels Mrs. Sheftel served me the time I visited Sheila at her folks house back in 1958 before I went to Hawaii as an LDS missionary. Best wishes and God bless and stay well.

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  2. Harvey Merkley :

    Actually the strudels were probably in 1961 after I’d been to Hawaii for a couple of years.

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  3. Although I am reading this almost 12 years after Mr. Sheftel died, I wish to offer my condolences on behalf of my late uncle, Albert Morash (he himself passed on April 3, 1993). I believe my uncle knew him through either business or perhaps working for him at some point in the 50’s or 60’s. As a result, our family in Calgary always went to the Carriage House for all of the birthdays of two generations of Morashes and Neuss’–born between 1908 and 1940) and other special occasions. Right from the beginning, Mr. Scheftel made sure that when Uncle Al or Aunt Lorraine made a reservation in the cafe or dining room that they would be acknowledged by the staff who served them, along with the manager on duty that day. I was born in 1973 and this remains one of my cherished memories of childhood.

    Karen Neuss, on behalf of Albert and Lorraine (nee Neuss) Morash.

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