Shirley Garber, former Port Cities Woman of the Year, dies at age 90Shirley Karsner Garber, the 1994 Port Cities Woman of the Year, died Monday morning in hospice care. She was 90.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
Shirley Karsner Garber, the 1994 Port Cities Woman of the Year, died Monday morning in hospice care. She was 90.
Garber and her late husband, Jack Garber, ran Garber’s Catering Service at what is now the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center for almost 20 years. They were the first caterers to hold a contract with the Duluth Arena-Auditorium. They also owned the Captain’s Table, a cafeteria in the Medical Arts Building on Superior Street, for almost 20 years.
Friends and family describe her as always on the go.
“She was an indomitable spirit,” said longtime friend Muriel Abram. “She had a great spirit and a very positive attitude about life. She was a very wonderful woman and we’re going to miss her something awful.”
Garber was an active member of Temple Israel. She regularly performed
volunteer work — including serving Christmas dinner every year at the Union Gospel Mission — and had membership on several boards.
For about the past five years, Garber had been volunteering as an instructor for University for Seniors, teaching classes in Hebrew at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She had planned a course in politics during the election season, which would include both Republican and Democratic candidates speaking to the senior citizen students.
The program’s director, Deb Scott, who was also a longtime friend, said Garber told her she was looking forward to the new semester.
“She had this amazing ability to connect with everybody and value them for who they are,” she said. “She saw wonderful things in everybody.”
Garber traveled often, including regular trips to Israel. She enjoyed playing bridge and baked treats for musicians in the Duluth
Superior Symphony Orchestra for almost 40 years. She loved gardening, her Jewish faith and Duluth — where her grandfather had settled in the 1880s, according to her son Micah Garber. He called her “brilliant” and “an
“She lived life 100 percent at a time,” he said.
Recently they had discussed making provisions for the rest of her life. She had a relative who had lived to be older than 100, and she wanted to make sure she would have the means to follow suit.
“She said ‘I’m probably going to live at least another 10 years,’ ” he said.
Garber’s funeral is at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Temple Israel.