Ruth Wilensky, the matriarch of the inimitable eatery Wilensky’s Light Lunch, has died at age 98.
CBC reports that the announcement of her death was posted on the Paperman & Sons website Friday last night. A funeral service will be held on Sunday tomorrow.
Wilensky was known to be front and center of the iconic space, long after the death of her husband Moe in 1984, until her retirement in 2012 at the age of 95. In a past interview between Wilensky’s daughter Sharon and Eater, her mother was seen behind the counter since the 1970s and on and off throughout her marriage, serving one of Montreal’s most unforgettable sandwiches.
Many have fond memories of Wilensky. She is remembered not only as an icon of a luncheonette, but a caring woman who made others feel at home when walking through the restaurant’s green doorframe. This includes playful stories about her sternly following the time-honoured rules surrounding the menu, but she was also known to develop impactful relationships with regulars and newcomers alike.
The family has requested that donations be directed to the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, a Jewish organization whose funding buttresses the hospital’s needs, from equipment purchases to patient and family well-being.
It’s difficult not to be hyperbolic at times like this, but Ruth Wilensky was a Montreal icon and civic treasure.— Ian Harrison (@Blumsteinboy) March 10, 2018