GARTNER, Sasha Charlotte - Sasha died at her home in Toronto on Monday, March 31, 2014. She played many roles in her life with passion and intensity: the adoring wife of George, the endlessly proud mother of Hana and Gary and the doting grandmother who bragged shamelessly about Gar, Samm, Maximilian, Alexandra, Olivia and Henry. Her joy was seeing Hana and husband Bruce and Gary and his wife Deirdre happy and settled. Her family was her life! Hope and optimism fueled her and a ferocious fighting spirit sustained her. Sasha survived the horrors of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and then the displacement from her native Czechoslovakia. A new life and new dreams opened up for Sasha when she, George and Hana came to Canada as refugees in 1951. This truly indomitable spirit reinvented herself yet again. When the love of her life died, Sasha went to work in women's fashion becoming one of Toronto's hottest saleswomen. She had a blast. It's probably how she'd describe her life, for which she was immensely grateful. A formidable presence who could on occasion show signs of vanity. No one ever knew Sasha's true age. Even now admitting Sasha was in her 90s feels like betrayal. There were a lot of people helping to keep her feeling young these past couple of years. Sincere gratitude goes to Dr. Paula Niewstraten and the Taddle Creek Family Health Team, the CCAC and Sasha's many caregivers, especially Jane, Anna Jane and Elda. There will be a private family funeral, but for those wanting to honor Sasha's memory, a donation can be made in her name to The Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1W2. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com "Dobrou noc maminko."
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Published in the Toronto Star from Apr. 4 to Apr. 5, 2014