We’re here today to mourn the passing but also to honor the life of Naomi Singer, beloved wife, mother and grandmother
Naomi was born in Waterbury on July 3, 1929, the beloved daughter of Morris & Rae Grabow. She graduated Bryant and in her career worked for the Yale Alumni Fund for 27 years. She not only enjoyed but also loved what she did. She was so good at her work that after 25 years, when she retired, they then called her back to work for another two years.
You could say that, as Staff Secretary, she did a lot of the paperwork for donations. I would say: She was involved in a very important enterprise that helps to finance one of the greatest intellectual centers in the world.
Harry and Naomi met in Waterbury. Harry had a friend from the boat on which he came over from Europe who set Harry and Naomi up on a blind date. They dated for four years before they got married on Sept. 2, 1951 and they had a great marriage for 62 years. Naomi was a beautiful and wonderful wife. Harry says: “You couldn’t find a better wife.” She did everything, including paying the bills and making sure that Harry took his medicine every day. At the end of her life, he kissed her and she passed away. Our sincere condolences go to Harry, but we know that his children who have brought him back here to Connecticut will continue to give him the best of care and attention.
Debbie and Robert have been loyal and caring children all along. They have wonderful memories of happy childhoods with loving parents. Their mother loved cooking and baking. Her specialty was Blueberry tarts. Her not so special specialty was sugarless sugar cookies that tasted like cardboard.
As a mother, she was loving but firm. She had her opinions and those opinions were definitive. She pushed her children to see the positive rather than the negative. As a result, she gave great advice, guidance that changed her kids’ lives.. I am particularly impressed with the way that she gave her children such positive, constant encouragement. She gave them the sense that they could do it, that they would be good at everything they try to do. If they were scared, that was not acceptable. She would insist that they could do it. “No” was not an option.
We thank Janet for everything she has done and been.
She was proud of her cherished grandmother of Daniel & Michael. Again, she was direct and definitive. But deep in her core, and I know this from many conversations with her, that she cared, deep in her core, for her grandchildren and wanted the best for them in every way.
We mourn today with her beloved nieces Laurie and Sharon Singer.
She was an active member here at Temple Beth Sholom. She didn’t have a Bat Mitzvah ceremony as a child, and always wanted one. But she did eventually have one here at age 55, and that was a wonderful day for her and personally for me. Think about what that takes, to stand on the bima and take her full place in her religion. She and Harry were very constant shul-goers, to both Shabbat services and daily minyans.
She was active in Hadassah. Later, she was active at Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach, Fl.
She loved Mah jongg and had a regular game every Tuesday night. Debbie brought the set back with her from Florida. She loved embroidery and calligraphy.
In the Book of Ruth in the Bible, the main character, even more instrumental than Ruth herself, is Naomi. Naomi was a resourceful, strong, resilient woman who was very practical about life and its ups and downs.
Our Naomi was also strong and resourceful and resilient and taught her children and grandchildren to be the same way.
Our Naomi takes her place in a long line of Jewish women who received and transmitted the values of our people and our religion.
On a personal note: I liked talking to her and will remember her distinct voice, I can hear her talking now. We will miss her.
But we know, and it’s not a platitude, that she is no longer suffering, and we are content that she is at peace.
We wish Harry and Debbie and Robert and the whole family G-d’s comfort at this sad time. She was a righteous woman. May she rest in peace. Let us say Amen.