Sophie H. Rich (February 1981), age 95. Rich was a former vice president of the National Council of Senior Citizens and, in this capacity, testified before Congressional and presidential committees on behalf of reduced transit fares and other benefits for the elderly in the late 1960’s. She was active in the Greater Washington Area Senior Citizens Council and the Medicare Alert Program.
Born in Russia, Rich arrived in the U.S. at the age of 16, worked as a seamstress and began a life-long involvement with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. She moved to Washington, D.C in the 1920’s, ran a tailor shop, later worked for the Woodward & Lothrop and Bond Stores.
Ruth Lowe Sandler (January 1981), age 66. Sandler was a pianist and composer, best remembered for her hit song, “111 Never Smile Again,” written in 1939 after the death of her first husband. The song was recorded by Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey, remained number one on the Lucky Strike Hit Parade on radio for 26 weeks and helped launch Sinatra’s career. Sandler was also among the first women members of the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (admitted in the 1940’s) and was invited to join the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979.
Born in Toronto, Sandler lived in California and later returned to Toronto, where she worked as a pianist in local music stores, an accompanist on CBC radio and a member of Ina Ray Hutton’s All Girl Band, which she joined in 1934. She was also actively involved in Hadassah throughout her life, first attracted by the Youth Aliya program of the 1930’s and 40’s, and served as president of the “Ruth” chapter of Hadassah in Toronto.
Binyamina Silverman (August 16,1980), age 26. Binyamina Silverman was a free-lance fabric artist whose textiles reflected Jewish themes. At the time of her death she was Editor of “The Paper Pomegranate,” the newsletter of The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework. Ms. Silverman was slain outside her apartment building in Jamaica, Queens.