Betty and Larry Rice

My Story...

Larry & Betty Rice moved away from Winnipeg in August 1994 but they still felt a strong affinity for the city and the Jewish community here. After all, this is where they were born, made their living and raised their family. Winnipeg was good to them

Larry was born Lawrence Curtis in 1938 to Jack and Marjorie (Stepansky). Jack, born in the Ukraine, had immigrated to Canada with his parents, Charles and Sura Freida, in 1907. Marjorie also emigrated from the Ukraine with her siblings and mother, Clara, after their father and husband, Leib Chaim, was killed in a pogrom. Larry fondly remembers celebrating the Jewish holidays at his grandparents' homes.

Larry grew up on Cathedral Avenue with his twin sisters Rochelle Zagalsky and Sura-Fraida Blatt. His father, a magistrate by profession, was well respected in the community, and very active with the Chaim Weizmann Zionist Club and many other organizations. Larry's mother worked for a short time in a factory before marrying Jack, and was involved with Hadassah and Mizrachi while raising her family.

Larry attended public school at Champlain, Machray and St. John's Tech, and studied Hebrew at the Talmud Torah night school. He enjoyed a happy childhood, hanging out on Main Street with his friends and participating in many school activities and sports. He was on the soccer team that won the City Championship in 1953, and was active with Habonim, Young Judea and the Y. It was at a Y teen dance, in fact, that he met Betty.

Betty Kass was born and raised in Winnipeg with her sister Ray and brothers Jack and Sid. She attended Machray, King Edward and St. John's schools and Peretz and the Talmud Torah night schools for her Jewish education. Her parents, Rochel and Frank, were born in Romania and Russia. Frank was a presser in the garment industry while Rochel took care of the home and children.

Larry and Betty were married in 1960, the same year that Larry graduated as a chartered accountant. Betty worked as a clerk at the Winnipeg School Board until their children, Alana and Kevin, were born. She then devoted herself to caring for them and their home, and working on behalf of various community organizations. Larry worked as a comptroller at York Tire Service Ltd, and then became a partner in the business with the Leibl family.

He also was very involved in the community, serving on the board of directors of the Seven Oaks Hospital, Hebrew Fraternal Lodge, Winnipeg Jewish Community Council, YMHA, Israel Bonds, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, and as the president of the Rosh Pina Synagogue. Looking back, he feels that his most rewarding experience was working with the Rosh Pina to finance and build the Beit Am Seniors residence on the Rosh Pina property.

In 1994, shortly after Larry retired and their two children had moved out west with their families, Larry and Betty pulled up roots and moved to Vancouver. Although it was difficult to leave Winnipeg, it was a good move for them. They spent time with their children and grandchildren and made new friends, and Betty became very involved with ORT. Tragically, in 1999, just five years after they moved, Betty passed away.

In time, Larry became involved in the Vancouver Jewish community, serving on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and the Hebrew Assistance Association and on the allocation committee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Vancouver. He is currently the treasurer of the Louis Brier Home for the Aged.

His daughter Alana, a teacher and community volunteer, lives in Vancouver with her husband Jeff Korsunsky and children, Jenna and Daniel. His son, Kevin, a radiologist, lives in Los Angeles with his wife Natalie (Shibou) and sons, David and Nathan. In his spare time Larry enjoys golf, exercise and a good card game. He married Joanne Sheps (Bernstein) also a former Winnipegger, in 2002.

While Larry is now active in the Vancouver Jewish community, he has not forgotten Winnipeg. He is pleased to participate in the Endowment Book of Life and to make a contribution to the community that gave him so many opportunities and so many good memories.