Weinrib’s obituary tells a remarkable story of survival and perseverance. She grew up in a Jewish community in Poland, and was forced into concentration camps, including Auschwitz. After she was freed in 1945, she reunited with and married Morris Weinrib, whom she had fallen in love with while at Auschwitz.
The couple moved to Toronto and opened a variety store, but Morris died suddenly in 1965, leaving Mary with three children to raise on her own. She was a big supporter of Geddy’s music career from the early days of Rush. As her obituary states, “When the first Rush album was released, Mary plastered the windows of her store with Rush posters and gave albums away to any kids who wanted them but didn’t have the money to buy them.”
Geddy and Mary were both recently featured on From Cradle to Stage, the new Paramount+ show hosted by Dave Grohl and his mother, Virginia. In the episode, Geddy spoke of his parents’ experience in concentration camps: “From a very early age, I knew that my parents were Holocaust survivors. In fact, I knew that almost all my family were Holocaust survivors. Most survivors don’t discuss it, but I felt lucky in a way because it wasn’t a mystery in my house.”
In the same episode, Grohl gave Mary credit for bringing Geddy into the world, and ultimately inspiring him to become a drummer.
“It was funny for me to sit with Geddy and his mom because … he changed my life,” said Grohl. “Rush really changed my life. I loved music. I loved singing in the car to AM radio. But I never listened to the drums until I heard Rush. As we were sitting with Geddy and his mom, I was thinking … if it weren’t for her I might not be a drummer.”
Back in May, Geddy posted a picture of himself with his mother on Instagram, writing, “Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mom, Mary! Pushing 96 and still rockin’ out! And she just got vaccinated too! May she be around for many more!”
And just last month, Geddy mentioned their appearance on From Cradle to Stage, writing, “I’m proud and happy to report that tonight’s episode of Ginny and Dave Grohl’s excellent series From Cradle to Stage features my mother Mary’s story. She’s truly an amazing woman, and still going strong at nearly 96! It was our singular pleasure to hang out with them and share some important moments from her miraculous life.”
Our condolences go out to Geddy Lee and the rest of Mary Weinrib’s family and friends. Watch a clip from their appearance on From Cradle to Stage below.