As a young man Abe Gold met Bertha Horodezky at a Jewish youth dance in Calgary. After marrying in January 1943, their story became one of love, family, a strong work ethic and a committment to community.
They were dynamic as individuals, but most successful as a couple. They inspired each other to meet their full potentials and supported each other every step of the way. After the war ended Abe turned his carpentry hobby in to an independent business in Calgary, where they started their family. Owning and operating a business was far from easy in those days, but with the loving support of their immediate and extended familes, Abe and Bertha went from building cabinets in a little barn to a retail space well known as Alberta Wood Products.
Bertha was an only child but she had a rich upbringing because her parents’ home was filled with family and friends. The deep and loving relationships she was able to foster with cousins, who became more like siblings, helped to shape her sense of family and community responsibility. Throughout her life she was recognized in the Calgary Jewish community for her outstanding dedication to organizations such as Mooter Farein at the I.L. Peretz School, Jewish Community Association, the Jewish Historical Society and the Jewish Community Apartments. Despite her numerous community commitments she was always a loving mother, wife and friend to many.
Abe’s life took a different path. At the age of ten, his mother passed away and he and his four sisters we placed into a Jewish orphanage in Winnipeg where he maintained a very close bond with his sisters. Despite the adversity he experienced growing up he developed into a loving and sensitive man who was able to display immeasurable forgiveness and love. Abe was not only famous for his generosity; his sense of humor allowed him to appreciate even the corniest of jokes and he could always make others laugh. Like his loving wife Bertha, Abe was committed to helping many organizations in Calgary including I.L. Peretz School , B’nai Brith Men’s Organization and he was instrumental in the opening of the The House of Jacob Mikveh Israel.at its current location.
Abe and Bertha had 3 children, Lanny, Terry and Bonny. Terry’s life was cut short tragically when he died after being hit by a car when he was only 12. In keeping with their spirit of giving Abe and Bertha established “The Terry Gold Memorial Award” at the Calgary Jewish Academy. Each year a deserving grade 9 student who excels academically, and is a good citizen receives this award.
Life was complete when their grandchildren arrived. They were their pride and joy and meant everything to both Abe and Bertha. Eli, Matt and Tara lived minutes away from their grandparents, and spent a great deal of time being cared for and loved by both of them.
Bertha’s commitment to the Calgary Jewish Community could not be exemplified better than when she named the Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary as a beneficiary in her will. Through an endowment fund the legacy of giving that they established during their lives will continue on. Not only was a perpetual gift from the Gold family established, but a memorial endowment in the name of her parents, Nate & Lily Horodezky has been providing funds to the Calgary Jewish Community for many years.
The fund that she created now provides annual grants to Calgary agencies that are supported by The United Jewish Appeal, and organizations important to her children and grandchildren; i.e., The ALS Society of Alberta (Abe was diagnosed with and ultimately died from ALS in 1996). Prior to Abe’s death there were few resources available to children who had family members suffering from this disease. Much in keeping with her parents’ philosophy on giving his daughter Bonny, and grandson Matt, wrote and illustrated a children’s book entitled “Grandpa, what is ALS?”, the proceeds of which go directly to the ALS society of Alberta. It is a well-recognized resource for families living with ALS, and an amazing tribute to this very special man.
The Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary is proud to support the Gold family in their continued tradition of Tzedekah and service in Calgary. You can contribute to any of these funds via memorial donations or by ordering tribute cards through JCFC.