Rush is a Band

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Mon, Jul 15, 2024

Geddy Lee's mother and Holocaust survivor Mary Weinrib has passed away at the age of 95

Mon, Jul 5, 2021@11:24AM | comments

UPDATE - 7/6@3:51PM: Geddy posted the following to his Instagram earlier today:

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Geddy Lee's mother Mary Weinrib passed away this past Friday, July 2nd just a few weeks shy of her 96th birthday. Her funeral was held yesterday at Bathurst Lawn Memorial Park in Toronto. Rush fans got to know Mary through her appearance in the 2010 documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, and - most recently - her appearance on Dave and Virginia Grohl's From Cradle to Stage docu-series just last month, where she described her incredible Holocaust survival story. From her obituary:

... Manya (Malka) Rubinstein was born in 1925 in Warsaw and grew up in Wierzbnik, a Jewish shtetl that was part of Starachowice, Poland, which was occupied by the Germans beginning in 1939. Mary endured the labor camp at the munition's factory in Starachowice and the concentration camps at Auschwitz, where she met and fell in love with her husband Morris Weinrib, and at Bergen-Belsen, where she was finally liberated in April 1945. Reunited and married in 1946, Mary and Morris emigrated to Canada. After her husband Morris's sudden death in 1965, Mary was left with three young children and a variety store that her husband had owned and managed. Mary was determined to learn the business; and, against the advice of well-meaning friends, she took over managing their store in Newmarket, and she successfully ran the business until she retired. People were drawn to her zest for life, her sense of humor, and her compassion and generous spirit. There's a customer for everything, Mary would say, and if you couldn't find it at Times Square Discount, you didn't need it. Preparing family meals at Rosh Hashanah and Passover was a large-scale labor of love for Mary, who cherished her family above all; and after full days running the store, Mary would cook and bake over several nights, making everybody's favorite dishes and desserts. The mother of Rush bass player and lead singer Geddy Lee, Mary was an early supporter and a fixture at Rush concerts. When the first Rush album was released, Mary plastered the windows of her store with Rush posters and gave albums away to any kids who wanted them but didn't have the money to buy them. Among the longest living Holocaust survivors, Mary lived to see her family grow and prosper. ...

In the above-mentioned From Cradle to Stage episode, Dave Grohl is discussing his conversation with Geddy and his Mom, and her incredible Holocaust survival story, and says the following:

... It was funny for me to sit with Geddy and his Mom because ... he changed my life. Rush really changed my life. I loved music. I loved singing in the car to AM radio. But I never *listened* to the drums until I heard Rush. As we were sitting with Geddy and his Mom, I was thinking ... if it weren't for her I might not be a drummer ...

Our condolences go out to Geddy and the rest of Mary's family and friends. The family is asking for donations in Mary Weinrib's honor may be made to the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies at this location. Rest in peace Mary.