One of Manitoba's longest-serving doctors and a decorated veteran of the Second World War has died.
Dr. Maurice Shnider, 90, a general practitioner in Winnipeg for more than 60 years, including more than four decades on Pembina Highway, succumbed to pancreatic cancer Sunday at the Riverview Health Centre.
Shnider joined the Royal Air Force at age 18 and fought in both the European and Asian theatres during the Second World War as a navigator on the PBY Catalina, an American-designed flying boat. Some of his missions included locating the famous German battleship, Bismarck, during its Atlantic run from the British Navy and providing support for American bombers attacking Japanese-occupied Singapore.
Shnider retired from his medical practice a couple of years ago when illness forced his hand.
Dr. Leonard Greenberg worked closely with Shnider for more than a half-century and then when he retired at age 75 in 1997, became one of Shnider's patients. "He was a fantastic, wonderful guy. He was a good doctor, he was conscientious, had high integrity and was very well-liked by his patients," he said.
Shnider was also famous for taking Broadway songs and changing the lyrics to fit various occasions, such as somebody's wedding anniversary.
"He was multi-talented," Greenberg said.
In a 2010 interview, Shnider, who graduated from medical school in 1951, said he never tired of putting a stethoscope around his neck over top of his omnipresent necktie.
"I'm a people person. I've got to get feedback from people," he said, noting with pride he didn't receive his old age pension while he was still on the job. "I'm proud of being old school. I don't take any shortcuts."
Shnider only stopped working at the Victoria Hospital, where he performed surgeries such as tubal ligations and tonsillectomies, seven years ago.
Later in life, Shnider started writing musicals, which he produced at various venues around town. He was also a keen fan of Winnipeg sports teams, including the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Shnider continued to correspond with fellow veterans and regularly received special messages around Canada Day and Remembrance Day. He also wrote several columns for the Winnipeg Free Press on the observance of Remembrance Day.
Shnider was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Renee Taylor, in 2004. He is survived by his partner, Sally Whan, three children, Janet, David and Lee, and two grandchildren.