Daily Press (Sunday)

Marilyn L. Peltz

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Marilyn L. Peltz was born August 28, 1935, in Brooklyn, NY, and died this past January 7 in Boynton Beach, FL, aged 88. In between she cultivated with great loyalty a large garden of family & friends, but always treating each person as an individual. Mom's life began inauspicio­usly enough, passing through several foster homes for seven years. But once her permanent parents ("Nanny & Poppy") adopted her, she found a firm footing in a loving household. Especially with Poppy's support, himself a lover of trees & shrubbery, she flourished. Mom graduated from Jamaica High School in Queens, NY, where took special interest in earth science. Meanwhile she harbored a childhood fantasy of becoming a famous dancer under the stage name of "Lynn Madison." Nanny disapprove­d, so Mom, ever the dutiful daughter, took piano lessons instead, long enough to develop into a decent player of popular songs, which she also frequently sang just for relaxation, having collected quite a few first-edition sheet music singles of the era.

After attending the University of Miami (FL) for two years, Mom returned to the family home & soon landed a good job as a legal secretary in Manhattan. One of her firm's clients was none other than Gypsy Rose Lee. But before long, through family connection­s already made via her half-brother's marriage into the Jewish community of Newport News, she met & married our father. Dad was without a doubt attracted no less by her classical good looks — jet-black hair, hazel eyes, clear complexion, lovely figure & "Pepsodent" smile — than by her refined manners & gentle sense of humor. They were wed in high style at the Plaza Hotel in New York on June 29, 1958.

Mom, no longer a New Yorker but a Virginian, worked hard to keep peace among the various parties which vied for her love & attention during her first decade of marriage. But she succeeded, bearing four children during that time, and found the welcome support of her parents-in-law, whom she grew to love as equals to her own. Mom excelled as a homemaker, household bookkeeper, and occasional office assistant to Dad.

Over the years she pursued photograph­y, read books on mysticism & traveled widely, starting with her classic European honeymoon & reaching places as far as Israel, Peru, Australia & China. She enjoyed bridge & mah-jongg, and stayed physically active, swimming & walking. She admired the Lombardy poplars she planted as a border to our first backyard; she cherished the unusually large dogwood already in place in our second backyard. She loved our dog & many cats, and although it was never she, but we, who first brought them home, she always ended up being their favorite. Yet nothing in Mom's life surpassed her interest in her children & their well-being.

Mom was formerly a member of Hadassah, the NCJW, and served in the ladies' auxiliary at the old Adath Jeshurun Synagogue in East End, later joining Rodef Sholom Temple in Hampton, where she enjoyed many activities, including performing in the annual cabaret. During the years since her marriage failed after an honorable forty-two years, Mom renewed her love of great American song classics by joining the community chorus based in her FL neighborho­od.

At various times Mom sought to deepen her identifica­tion with Judaism & Jewish culture in particular. Like her father, she tended to champion the underdog in her world view. She spoke out quietly against injustice, whether global or between loved ones.

Mom handled her health challenges with her characteri­stic, quiet dignity. She found ways to adjust to her congenital back problems without resorting to surgery. She learned to tolerate arthritis. She vanquished her breast cancer in 2005, at the cost of one breast. And although it was Alzheimer's disease which ultimately, yet ever so gradually stole her personhood from us, she found within herself, well into that disease, the strength to count her blessings aloud.

Mom, we failed to speak aloud to you, as often as you did to us, "I love you." But we believe you have forgiven us for that.

Marilyn Peltz was pre-deceased by her parents Gabriel & Dotty Lichtenste­in, half-brother Jacob Lichtenste­in, former husband Dr. Edgar E. Peltz (Dad), in-laws Nathan & Anna Peltz, brotherin-law Walter L. Peltz, and numerous beloved aunts, uncles, cousins & lifelong friends, plus her significan­t other late in life, Melvin Grossberg. She leaves behind to grieve her four children: Richard Peltz of Hampton; Joseph Peltz of Delray Beach, FL; Wendy Peltz Blount of Canton, GA; and Michael Peltz of Peachtree City, GA. She is also survived by her grandson Nathan Blount & sonin-law William Blount, and her first cousin Roslyn Newberg of Hollywood, FL. Her lifelong employee & confidante Erma Draughn of Newport News mourns her too, as do many younger cousins & cousins-in-law.

On January 10 a graveside service was conducted by Rabbi Richard Polirer in North Lauderdale, FL, under the auspices of Star of David Funeral Chapel of that city. Memorials in Marilyn Peltz's name may be directed to the Alzheimer's Associatio­n, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or to your favorite charity.

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