Although we lost our mother, Judi Duckman (nee Paikin), to a lengthy battle with cancer when we were in our teens and early twenties, she instilled in us strong values and taught us important life lessons that guide us today. Judi was a devoted wife and deeply involved parent who derived great fulfillment in teaching and guiding others. She was a teacher in the York Region public school system for many years, teaching young children at Henderson Ave. and George Street Public Schools. Her students recognized her passion for teaching and considered her not only an educator, but a mentor and counsellor as well. For this reason, many of her students came back to visit her over the years to share with her their progress in life.
One of the important values our mother instilled in our family, as well as in her students, was the importance of making a contribution to the community. We're told she learned this value from her mother, Rose Paikin, growing up in Hamilton. They were both very active in the Hamilton Jewish community, as well as in their synagogue, Beth Jacob. Later in life, with her husband and our father, Lloyd Duckman, she went onto found Temple Har Zion in Thornhill, and became a proud member of the temple sisterhood, as well as a member of the Gila Chapter of Hadassah. As a wife and working mother, she also found the time to work on the campaigns of our local provincial and federal political candidates. Her happiness and sense of satisfaction came from helping others — a value we admired in her.
When our mother's cancer was discovered, the prognosis was bleak. The surgeon told her she had only months to live. Our mother was not one to give up easily — in anything she put her mind to. For this reason, it came as no surprise to those who knew her that through proactive disease management and her willingness to embrace non-traditional treatments, she extended her life for over two and a half years. During those last years, our mother showed us what was truly meaningful in life: the beauty of nature, the spirituality of Judaism, and the importance of family time and relationships. It is from these life lessons that we understand how to try and live our lives today.
Andrew Duckman, Lloyd Duckman, Owen Duckman & Shawn Duckman