04/21/07 - NNHS Newsletter -
Sadye Massell Blechman

Sadye Massell Blechman
(22 Sep 1902 - 19 Apr 2007)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

    There is more sad news this evening.  Sadye Massell Blechman, who with her husband, Ben Blechman, owned Blechman's Youth Center, passed away Thursday, April 19, 2007 in Rockville, MD at the age of 104.  Mrs. Blechman was the mother of Sylvia Blechman Kruger and of the late Edward Blechman.

From the Daily Press - 04/21/07:    

          Sadye Massell Blechman


NEWPORT NEWS - Sadye Massell Blechman, age 104, died Thursday, April 19, 2007, at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville, Md. A lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, Mrs. Blechman was born in Norfolk on September 22, 1902, to Fanny and Herman Massell and moved to Newport News at the age of four. She grew up attending Newport News schools, taking piano and elocution lessons, and helping in her father's store near 35th Street and Washington Avenue, selling shipyard workers their work gloves for ten cents. She attended Hood College in Frederick, Md. and Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. and taught in the Hampton schools before marriage. She and her husband, Ben, owned Blechman's Youth Center, a well-known children's clothing store in its day, on Washington Avenue and 32nd Street, and later, Newmarket Shopping Center. Mrs. Blechman's grandfather, Rev. Abraham Benson Mirmelstein, came to the peninsula in 1893 and was instrumental in founding Adath Jeshurun Synagogue and Jewish life in the community. Mrs. Blechman was a lifelong member of Rodef Sholom Temple, National Council of Jewish Women, and Hadassah which supports hospitals and medical research in Israel. During World War II, Mrs. Blechman was active in the Red Cross Canteen Corps serving our soldiers going overseas from Newport News. She was well-known for her gracious home hospitality to our servicemen and their families and NACA personnel at Langley. Wherever she lived and traveled, even the retirement years in Florida, Newport News was always home. The first things Mrs. Blechman did in Florida were to establish a small library in their condo building, learn to play golf, go fishing, and join Hadassah. Her last years were spent in the warm retirement community of Chambrel in Williamsburg, close to her family in Newport News, and then at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington close to several grandchildren. Mrs. Blechman was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, caregiver, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Her greatest pleasures were her family and friends. Her legacy is the gracious way she lived her life; her devotion to Judaism and family continuity; her care in her own appearance and health; her avid interest and curiosity in all that went on around her; her love of beauty and order in her surroundings; her love of books, flowers, butterflies, teddy bears, and chocolate; her ready smile, laughter, and quick wit; her sense of humor; her genuine caring and kindness towards others. She always said, 'If you don't have anything nice to say about a person, don't say anything.' Her biggest heartaches in life were the losses of dear ones who preceded her in death; her husband, Benjamin T. Blechman; her brother, Irving Massell; her little great-grandson, Benjamin Shalom Kruger; her daughter-in-law, Joan Gaye Blechman; and her dear son, Edward Massell Blechman. She is survived and will be greatly missed by her daughter, Sylvia Blechman Kruger; grandchildren: Larissa Faith Blechman and Mark Steinberg (Annandale); Andrew Massell Blechman (Coral Springs, Fla.); Rabbi Reuven and Elyse Kruger (Israel); David and Elizabeth Kruger (Silver Spring, Md.); Mark Kruger and Karen Richman (Oak Park, Il.); Edwin and Tami Kruger (Israel); and Martha Ann Kruger and Michael Haberman (Silver Spring, Md.). Also, 21 great-grandchildren living both in Israel and America. In Israel: Dalia and Ayalon, Adina, Asher, Yael, Yehudit, Hillel, Shulamit, Netta, Zahava and Aryeh. In America: David, Limor, Shira, Naomi, Shoshana, Joshua, Hannah Fay, Gerry, Ellie and Natan. She is remembered also by many loving cousins, nieces and nephews, especially Margo and Stanley Drucker and Barbara Smith; her extended family of caring Chambrel residents and staff; faithful, devoted caretakers in Williamsburg and later the devoted staff and caregivers at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington; and lifelong Newport News friends. Her Washington area grandchildren, David and Liz Kruger, Martha Kruger and Michael Haberman, Larissa Blechman and Mark Steinberg and their families were a loving and vital part of her end of life. Funeral services will be held 12 Noon Sunday at Rodef Sholom Temple by Rabbi Gilah Dror. Burial will follow in Rosenbaum Memorial Park. The family requests no flowers. For those who wish, memorial gifts may be made to Rodef Sholom Temple, National Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, or the International Rett Syndrome Association. Peninsula Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Published in the Daily Press on 4/21/2007.
Guest Book

I can't even imagine what it must be like to live to the ripe old age of 104 and 7 months.

Here is my favorite memory of Sadye Blechman that I will NEVER forget. It is a line she kept repeating to us nearly 50 years ago:

"Well, suit yourself" - Famous Quote by cousin Sadye.

I will never forget this statement by cousin Sadye. She said these three words over and over again during the night we stayed at her house during one of our many visits to Newport News. It was during either July or August (and had to be either 1960, or more likely, 1964). I remember this because we were watching one of the televised national political conventions.

As guests in her home, she wanted us to be as comfortable as possible, so she kept offering us different amenities, including the fact she wanted us to sample all of the new foods she was cooking that night in her 1st ever GE Toaster Oven.

As any good hostess would, she kept offering Mother (Esther) many different things, and Mother (being Mother) kept saying either she didn't want it, or you don't have to go to all that trouble for us.

In response, Sadye kept saying to Mother over and over again, "well, suit yourself".

Does anyone else remember this night, or this famous quote?
Steve Weinberg (Dallas, TX) - April 21, 2007
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I remember Mrs. Blechman because as a child, I wore clothes from Blechman's. She was a very dignified and stoic lady who was very kind to her customers. This year I will be 60 and I can still remember the shop on Washington Avenue. May the cloak of The Almighty blanket the family at this time.
Denni Macklin - April 21, 2007
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I, too, wore clothes from Blechman's as a child. My sister and I were decked out in the finest Ruth Originals and other top line brands for young ladies. One of the biggest thrills for my parents was the year my sister and I were selected to model in an Easter fashion show at Newmarket Shopping Center! We modeled clothes personally picked by Mrs. Blechman; my father's snapshots show that we looked our best! This memory and many more will remain for me always. God bless Mrs. Blechman, her family and many friends. She will be remembered by the "baby boomers" of the Peninsula for many years to come!
Stephanie Montgomery (Poquoson, VA) - April 22, 2007
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   Our deepest condolences are extended to the entire Blechman family and their many friends.

    Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol


NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE: http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com

PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat


Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

Oseh Shalom

"Oseh Shalom" suggested by Diane Sandler Marcus ('69) of MD - 03/27/05.
Thanks, Diane.

"Oseh Shalom" midi courtesy of http://www.alanabrams.com/jewish.htm - 03/27/05

Silver Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.wtv-zone.com/nevr2l82/bars3.html - 03/28/05

Greg Olsen Painting courtesy of http://gregolsengallery.com 02/10/05

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