It runs in the family: Charles and Guy Kroft


Guy Kroft served on the Board of The Winnipeg Foundation from 1992 to 2006. Photo courtesy of Hester Kroft.

The Road to 100

Honouring those who have shaped our community through The Foundation.

Winnipeg Foundation Board benefits from expertise of father/son duo, Charles and Guy Kroft

What does it mean to follow in a prior generation’s footsteps? For The Honourable Guy J. Kroft, this underscored a deep personal responsibility; an enduring philosophy, animated by abundant community spirit.

Since The Winnipeg Foundation began in 1921, successive volunteer boards drawn from our community, guide our mission and focus. Occasionally during these decades, an intergenerational pattern emerges. Mothers and daughters: former Chair Muriel Sprague Richardson and Kathleen M. Richardson served as Board members. Charles and Guy Kroft are remembered as a significant father and son duo. Guy Kroft passed away on April 15, 2020.

Charles Kroft was born in Russia in 1906, arriving in Winnipeg at age six. He spent his career in the grain business, starting as an office boy. He rose to President of McCabe Grain and served as Chairman of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange.

In Charles’ busy community life, married to Heloise Cohn, he served on boards of community organizations, including The Winnipeg Foundation from 1969 to 1977. At the time of his death in 1984, he was Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.

Charles left a bequest to The Winnipeg Foundation to support general grantmaking in the Winnipeg community.

Guy and Hester (nee Israels) grew up just blocks apart, attending the same schools and university. Their marriage of 64 years, blessed with children and grandchildren, was a true partnership.

Guy articled at Thompson, Dorfman, Sweatman LLP. He excelled as an associate and a partner., was named a Queen’s Counsel and later, appointed as a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench. He was elevated to the Manitoba Court of Appeal (1993 to 2007). Guy felt most fulfilled as an active citizen, whether it was in leadership positions in the Red Cross, the Canadian Club of Winnipeg, or President of the Canadian Judges Conference.

Guy equally devoted himself to the Jewish community. As President of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, he led wisely and with humility.

A director on the Board of The Winnipeg Foundation from 1992 to 2006, Guy was curious, conscientious, calm and compassionate; a confidant to all. He especially appreciated the Youth in Philanthropy program begun in 1999, as youth discovered a natural place in community betterment. After all, generations mattered to Guy, as they did for his father before him.

This story is featured in the Spring 2020 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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