Cissie Lu­per

The Jewish Chronicle - - Obituaries - RABBI EL­IZ­A­BETH TIK­VAH SARAH

EM­BRAC­ING LIFE with both hands, even though much of it was over­shad­owed by tragedy, Cissie Lu­per founded a lo­cal branch of a leukaemia re­search char­ity fol­low­ing the death of her grand­son Mark from leukaemia. When he was di­ag­nosed in 1965, Cissie de­cided to fundraise for re­search into the ill­ness. She ad­ver­tised for vol­un­teers in the daily lo­cal pa­per, and af­ter Mark’s death in 1968 her ini­tia­tive be­came the Brighton, Hove and District group of the Leukaemia and Lym­phoma Re­search Fund.

Cissie re­mained in the chair un­til her hus­band’s death in 1987, when she was ap­pointed branch pres­i­dent. Af­ter over £ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 h a d b e e n raised, Cissie was awarded an MBE, which she r e c e i v e d f r o m Prince Charles at Buck­ing­ham P a l a - cein De­cem­ber, 1999.

But the l o s s o f l o v e d o n e s c o nt i n- ued to mark her life – in­clud­ing the re­cent deaths of two of her three sons, Christo­pher and Tony, and her nephew, Gerry – which she faced with im­mense for­ti­tude and re­silience.

While her fa­ther Joseph stud­ied To­rah, her mother opened a kosher restau­rant and board­ing house in Duke Street, Brighton, where she met her fu­ture hus­band, Bernard (Ben) Lu­per. They mar­ried, both aged 17, on March 14, 1925, and lived above their men’s out­fit­ting shop in Trafal­gar Street. A land­mark busi­ness, it was still flour­ish­ing when Ben re­tired in the 1980s. Mov­ing to Hove, they joined what be­came the Brighton and Hove Pro­gres­sive Synagogue, proud of be­ing in tune with the needs of mod­ern Jews. Cissie w a s r e c e n t l y ap­pointed an Emer­i­tus Vice-Pres­i­dent. T h e c o u p l e helped raise funds to set u p t h e Bright

on & Hove Home for Aged Jews in the early 1950s. Bernard was the first trea­surer and Cissie helped or­gan­ise day to day af­fairs. In later years, the Home came un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Jewish Care, later re­named Hy­man Fine House. Cissie had no idea then that she would spend the last years of her life at the Home she had helped to es­tab­lish.

Even af­ter Ben’s death in 1987, Cissie con­tin­ued to live life to the full. She was still driv­ing her own car at 92, still liv­ing in her own flat, and lead­ing a busy so­cial life.

Sadly, Cissie faced an­other ter­ri­ble blow when her youngest son, Christo­pher died on July 12, 2005. In early 2006, at the age of 99, she moved into Hy­man Fine House fol­low­ing a fall. In April 2006, her son Tony also moved in, en­abling them to be to­gether ev­ery day – their wheel­chairs al­ways stand­ing side-by-side in the front lounge. They cel­e­brated spe­cial birthdays to­gether in 2007, when she reached the age of 100, and Tony turned 80.

Cissie was a very strong, in­domitable and pos­i­tive per­son­al­ity, who did not give up on on life eas­ily. How­ever Tony’s death on July 10, 2009 proved one blow too many. Ex­tremely dis­tressed, Cissie be­came more in­ward but drew sup­port from Ben’s pho­to­graph which she used to kiss and greet ev­ery day. It was a ges­ture of love and con­nec­tion that re­newed her strength.

She is sur­vived by her son Peter, daugh­ter-in-law Dorothy, Tony’s widow Renee, grand­chil­dren David, Sarah and Paul, and great-grand­chil­dren.

Lu­per: liv­ing life to the full

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