In memory of
CHAN KATZMAN February 22, 1922 – February 10, 2017 A warrior has fallen. One of the oldest surviving veterans of D-Day, Chan (Channan, Honya) was born to Labe and D'vorah Katzman in Belinitz, Belarus, Russia. Chan was predeceased by his infant brother, Velvel, and by his beloved wives, Wilma (Sarah) Katzman and Marguerite Cox. Chan's memory will forever be a blessing to his family: Faye (Adam, Jesse), Sid and Camie (Samaya and Gavin, Thomas), Randy and Shirley (Kyle and Amy, Jared), David and Susan (Miriam and Tom, Daniel and Stacey, Jonathan), SJ (Sheldon Jerry), and the Cox family who welcomed him into their lives. At age 10, Chan travelled solo from Belarus to Canada to reunite with his father and extended family in North Battleford. The Katzmans eventually settled in Prince Albert where Chan's superior athleticism (track and field, hockey, basketball, and football) and musical talents (clarinet) were recognized. At 17, he volunteered with D Company, Regina Rifles Regiment. He trained in Canada and the UK for four years before landing on Juno Beach during the Normandy Invasion. Although reported KIA (killed in action) on D-Day, June 6, 1944, Chan survived his serious wounds. In 2014 Rifleman Chan Katzman received an award from the Government of France: Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour. Chan developed a deep and lifelong commitment to the First Nations and Metis warriors with whom he served, and was an honorary member of the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans' Association. He wholeheartedly participated in many grand entries and pipe ceremonies. After the war years, Chan met and married Wilma Irene Matthews. In order to provide Jewish education and community for their growing family, Chan and Wizzie moved from Wadena to Saskatoon where they cultivated lifelong friendships, played bridge, volunteered with several organizations, and danced many evenings away at the Legion. Shortly after Chan retired from selling cowboy boots and blue jeans at Chain Clothers on First Avenue South, he climbed on his bike (Trigger) and cycled to the U of S to attend language classes in Russian, Spanish and Cree to supplement his fluency in English, German and Yiddish. He loved his family above all else. He especially adored his grandchildren and often remarked he should have had them first. He delighted in his vegetable gardens and frequent garage sales. He will be remembered for many things: his resilience, his laughter, and his unending supply of colourful stories. Chan expressed often his sincere gratitude for his full, rich, adventurous, and love-filled life. Donations can be made to the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans' Association or the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 362. Funeral Services will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 13, 2017 at Agudas Israel Synagogue, 715 McKinnon Avenue with Interment at the Jewish Cemetery. The Meal of Condolence will follow at the Edwards Family Centre, 333 4th Ave N, Saskatoon. Condolences may be sent to email@example.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home.
View Full Obituary ›