George Brady 1928-2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of George Brady. George touched all of our lives here at Second Story Press. Along with the legacy he leaves through his family, it is a comfort to think that young people all over the world will continue to learn about him and his beloved sister Hana through the story he helped tell in Hana's Suitcase. We were moved many times over the years by the chance to hear him speak at events, where he would capture the attention of rooms full of children who would listen intently to this kind man who had been through so much.

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To say that George squeezed out every drop of life is a grand understatement - from surviving the horrors of the Holocaust and losing his entire family, to restarting a new life in Canada. Blessed with 4 children (or as he would say, 3 kids and a girl) he pursued life with great vigour. World renowned for his tenacity and generosity, for George there were no problems, only challenges for which he could always find solutions. He helped hundreds of new Canadians find jobs, homes, and pursue their dreams.

George's early years are well known through the story of Hana's Suitcase, which follows George and his sister Hana's journey from their Czech home to Terezin and finally to Auschwitz. In George's case - he believed that he survived due to his perseverance and a little bit of luck. He was liberated from the Death March in January of 1945 and returned home to find out that he was the sole survivor of his family. George felt that he should not dwell on the past and chose to make a new life in Canada honouring the legacy of his parents. Three years later, he met a fellow survivor, Joe Seidner, and together they founded Brady & Seidner. As he established the business, George began a busy family life with his first wife Carol and their 3 boys, Douglas, Paul and David.

At 54, George expanded the family by marrying a second time and together with Teresa had a daughter, Lara Hana. The family continued to grow with badly trained but much loved dogs. The arrival of Fumiko Ishioka into George's life in 2000 heralded the next chapter, sharing the story of his sister, and that of his own as a member of the underground magazine at Terezin called Vedem. George believed that these stories transcended faith and belief; encouraging kids and adults alike to explore history and learn more about the consequences of hatred and intolerance. Having, impacted many lives, his story continues to touch people in every corner of the world. George's proudest achievement was his family and their success. He often commented that his parents would have been so proud to see how the Brady clan had expanded after suffering such hardship during the war. Not one to hold a grudge, this was his vindication; that he won out in the end. George was a member of the Order of Ontario, and received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal, keys to Prague and Nove Mesto (his home town), the highest German civilian Order of Merit: the 'Verdienstkreuz am Bande', the Masaryk Society award, the Czech House of Commons award, Post Bellum award, honour from Palace University, and various other honours.

Read the full obituary here.

Allie Chenoweth