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HAZEL STRAUSS

HAZEL STRAUSS

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October 19, 2018
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October 19, 2018
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February 01, 2018
January 02, 2018
I was saddened to hear of Hazel's passing and extend my most sincere and deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire family at your tremendous loss.
I read through the beautiful and moving entries that Hilary, Randy, and Abby wrote and couldn't help but think, Hazel was one of those rare, unique, wonderful, bigger than life people. Through your stories, words, memories and the incredible love that she had for her family and her family for her, she will live on.
I hope that you don't mind that I took the liberty of paying the perpetual fee to keep this guest book on line - it just seemed right that your tributes and any others that people might add should last forever.

With all due respect, my gut tells me that not only would she be happy that this page will always be here, she'd be even more joyous that no one that she cared about had to pay for that to happen.
Rest in peace, Hazel.
December 04, 2017
Ira Press-May this note give you and the familycomfort.
December 03, 2017
Love Randy. Middle Daughter.

This was a letter I recently found that I wrote to my parents during November of my first year of college.

Dear loveables, hugables,
I remember when we'd sit around the fire and tell stories, read poems and think of what will be. The future that we spoke of is now my present and I feel lost. Where do I go for answers? You guide, and lead me, and advise me but soon I'm on my own. Still hoping you'll be close by for me to seek some tender, love, and care when needed. There are so many things my mind has never known, but I thank you for its present depth. I've seen a lot of sunshine, slept out in the rain, bicycled for miles, sailed the open seasI have the confidence to live on.
I was on my own for 6 weeks meeting people, going to classes and parties and realizing the meaning of responsibility. And I felt the way you always say you want me to feel; Happy. I can't help believing in my own mind. I feel that I can make the right decisions, whatever they may be, but I'll always need you. Besides, what about my dreams, your dreams, and all the memories we've shared and all the healthy years of the future. I toast to strength, success, health, long life and to you.
Love is the key I must turn,
Truth the lesson I must learn,
Freedom the frame I must burn
But time passes so fast. I must grip the rungs tightly and move upward slowly making the right decisions. But how do I know what is right' until I realize for myself what is wrong? And the consequences that will arise.. and the phobias to fight give me strength, power, growth, and challenges. I will not stand aside. I want a piece of this world for myself. Call it greed, maybe so, but if I earn it, it's all mine.
How sweet it is to love someone
How right is it to care. To know that I am loved by parents and children.People and things to live for.

I love you all ways.
December 03, 2017
Love Hilary. First Daughter.
11.16.17

Read on 11.20.17
Sutton Place Synagogue

Dear Mommy,
It is with the deepest pain that I write to you today. You always read what I wrote with such enthusiasm and response, so I know that you are listening today also. There is no one on the planet who listened to everything I said, hung on every word, like you did. It was your gift. And I speak for my sister's, and my daughter, and my nieces as well. Every time we spoke on a weekly basis, you greeted us with HELLO MY DARLING DAUGHTER and you were eager for details and updates on life, on friends, on school, on the office, on everything. You did not only listen. You gave us great advice.

Looking back on your life you were raised by your single mother Rose with your sister Rhoda. Rhoda is here mom. Life was not easy as you were poor and had to scrape by while you were aware that others had so much more. Any time you spoke of your mom, Grandma Rosie, you held back tears and said how you still missed her. Now I understand even more.

You were self-motivated and put yourself through college, and then went to NYU Law School at Night. You were amongst the first class of female NYU Law graduates. We loved to share this accomplishment proudly with others about our mother.

At NYU Law you met daddy, who was also there putting himself through night school, after achieving his engineering degree. Daddy took an instant liking to you, but you dismissed him as you thought he was too short! But then the assigned seats were given, and Daddy was fortuitously assigned to be seated next to you in classes. And so began a romance that was overfilled with True Love and Mutual Respect and an adventure of a lifetime ahead. We grew up with daddy often remarking about your beauty and how he thought you looked like the actress Catherine Denueve. Daddy continued to admire your beauty every day. It was remarkable to us.

You and daddy have often said that you had no mentors. You teamed up on every decision and aligned in support of one another. You walked hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm figuratively and literally. You met friends on your honeymoon in Bermuda and have been friends ever since with Elly & dearly missed Shelly. You became close friends with Len & Marilyn from the start as Dad and Len know each other from high school. You seemed to follow where they found a home, first in Jamaica Estates, and more recently in the same upper east side neighborhood. These close friendships extended 60 to 70 years.


You first rented an apt down the block from Grandma Katie and Grandpa Max in Rego Park where you gave birth to me you held me up for all the world to see from the terrace of that apt, captured in photo that was printed in a Newspaper article that we fortunately still have the clipping of, featuring young parents at the time who liked living in Queens, NY.

You and dad dreamed of living in a BRICK TUDOR home which led you to buy our nostalgic childhood home on Midland Parkway in Jamaica Estates. I remember you told us that the house was way out of your price range at the time, but you mom, you HAD to have it! You both made the right investment for all those joyous years at that house, & as well as how it afforded you the dream apt in NYC.

You worked as an attorney in the early days but decided to stay home when all three of us were little children, and we remember elementary school days, coming home at noon through the side door, with the oven open to a tray of grilled bologna curled on top of cheese for lunch there were always extras slices as we often brought home friends unplanned, who always wanted to come to our house for those lunches. I had a lot of close friends from those early days and Jr high school who are still in my life, and whom admired you, and you so enjoyed hearing about and seeing on occasions. As you would expect, Allen is here today. Also abby's, randy's and my own dear, cherished life-friends have been so supportive during this time, and we know will continue to be. You also loved Gary and Cliff and expressed that you knew they made your daughters happy and that was what was important, and they are each extremely comforting during these dark days.

We had close relationships with our aunts, uncles & cousins, and we enjoyed all the holidays together that we remember so well as children. We also will never forget the many, many, automobile trips we took to visit our southern cousins, either in Atlanta or vacationing together in Florida. It was so important to you that we established bonds with our small family and we have the best close relationships with Rena, Lisa, and Brad, Lorrie, Holly and Drew. On those road trips, you and dad took meticulous care to bake chicken and bring coolers of food that we stopped roadside and ate, along with stops at Big Boy Restaurants, Morrison's Cafeteria, and Howard Johnsons for ice cream cones. You and daddy really provided us a slice of Americana in our childhood.

You took us on amazing vacations every year. As adults, we reflected on the cost and challenges of doing so with family of 5, & we are even more grateful for these memories, many in Puerto Rico and warm destinations. You were always a fan of heat and summer, and it was Never TOO hot for you Mom.

You adored your grandchildren Hollis and Sasha, and loved even more how they have become beautiful, smart young women and the conversations you were able to exchange in recent years. When I had Amelia in 2003, you and dad lived in Society Hill Towers in Philadelphia where you had transferred based on having achieved a coveted post as a Federal Judge. At that time, Dad would drive back and forth and spend for 4 5 day weekends in Philly. You both raved about the elegant high-rise apartment lifestyle, and loved the large glass windows with your views of the Delaware River. You also enjoyed the city-life with art galleries and eateries. This was the influence that kept you hunting for the perfect apartment you found at Sutton Place South in Manhattan, with your treasured and daily spoken about pleasure of the sunshine streaming in and watching the boats along the Hudson River from inside or out on your terrace.

I remember vividly how you RAN in to the hospital recovery room to meet Amelia with open arms for the first time, so I am comforted that I will recall many of the current wonderful times and conversations with you, with equal clarity in the years ahead.

After her birth, You requested a job transfer back to NY so that you could be helpful to Gary and me, and spend a ton of time with your new granddaughter. You were incrediblein every way. Period. I laugh thinking about how you were sooo excited that a Fairway Market opened in Long Island near us, and how you and daddy would plan all your food shopping there and take Amelia as a baby in the cart every week. You were so present for Amelia at every age, coming to every school event and visiting camp in summer and spending time together. Your influence was indelible and know that Amelia with her great sense of humor will remind me of something funny that grandma would say or do throughout our future.

I am reminded that you accompanied us on our first travel to Switzerland with Amelia when she was 5 months old, to help out and enjoy that experience together. It was a highlight for our whole family to celebrate your Golden Anniversary in Italy, and we are also happy that you and dad were so adventurous to see the world on your many trips to Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, Alaska, our National Parks and across our country.

During one trip to Sante Fe, you fell in love with the locally & artistically crafted NAMBE serving pieces, and when Bloomingdales started selling Nambe, let's just say we were all well-endowed with Nambe! I can recall your GLEE when there was a sale, and many of our serve ware has scratched in on the bottom, the words AS IS. We never saw the flaws.

Speaking of serve ware, you have passed on your love of beautiful bowls and platters. Your home was our tradition for all the holidays. We know how you and daddy relished shopping and preparing the meals for us and assuring we each took home leftovers. We will miss you dearly but will feel you at the table, and somehow We will carry this forward Mommy.

As we walk through the city we are certain feel sad early on, reminded how much you loved the energy and took advantage of all that it had to offer. Your walks, bus rides, the temple, window shopping, actual shopping!, the weekly lectures you attended, and the symphony, shows and museums you frequented; it may have been cut shorter than we hoped, but we are also so happy that you had the benefit of time to enjoy and revel in these daily experiences.

You were an avid reader of the NY Times, and we loved the relevant clippings you saved for us, that you & daddy picked out to share with each of your daughters. Our names were always lovingly written on our respective articles, in the top hand corner. There are still ones waiting in the apt today, that we will read. Thank you. You also read books constantly, and were a charter member of the Jamaica Estates book club that has existed for 17 years. You so enjoyed your book club discussions as a way of building new friends and expressing your point of view, and the calls and emails that we have received from your friends in that group as well as the new group in NYC, speaks volumes to us about how much you have been loved and admired and known as a friend.

Phyllis Weiser at 91 years old, will be visiting tomorrow and she told me on the phone yesterday, to Cling together as Hazel would want for us, and there is strength amongst us. She said Bernie is the kindest man ever, and what a joy it was to know them together. She also said, Of Course Hazel's daughters are strong, they are Hazel's daughters!

In the recent years there was a calmness that you demonstrated for overcoming obstacles that I may not have noticed in earlier years. I will try and adopt this. You never complained about. aches or pains, never wanted to take medicine, and never wanted to think about aging. You kept yourself beautiful. You were always trying to learn something new including posting your profile on LinkedIn and attempting to do pro-bono legal work through various educational and networking channels. We could not be prouder of you.

Your passing away, has sent shock waves through the building, and have included many people telling us what a radiant smile you had and how you exuded kindness.

You have been the most wonderful, empowering, nurturing mother, wife, grandma, and friend, and your legacy will endure in each of us. Like your favorite animal, marked by your collection of little elephants on one of the Nambe trays WE will never forget.


In closing this letter mom, wanted to say that when I landed at JFk Thursday morning after the dreaded news and long flight home, a brilliant rainbow appeared and somehow I had the wherewithal to snap that photo and told my sisters that this was our first sign from you. Please keep sending us more signs.

You would never say Goodbye.
It was always, and will continue to be,
See you soon my love, and Talk again.
December 03, 2017
Love Abby. Youngest Daughter.

MOM
How can this possibly be that you are not here with me anymore
You are my rock
You are such a force of my every day
Every achievement is only complete when I am able to share it with you
To hear the joy in your voice every time I call on the phone - -hello my darling abby
The radiant smile you greet me with every time you open the door, which leads immediately to the enveloping hug and many kisses - muah muah muah, like you're giving one to each of your daughters, even if it is just me at the moment
Your voice, your hug, your kiss set the tone, making me feel loved from head to toe
And this is how each of your daughters feel.

I have always been so proud to be your daughter like I'd won the most amazing prize.
I admire your choice to educate yourself to the highest levels
Its astounding that you were one of 6 women in a class of 100 men graduating NYU law school.

And even upon retiring, which you did so reluctantly, you continued to find ways to be vital in your field, doing pro-bono mediation and working toward accreditation,
We loved helping you navigate linked-in to create and post your resume -
We loved the way you wanted to understand and use the new technologies of computers, cellphones, and even emojis and took to signing all your texts with multiple red hearts

What a role model you have given me, and Randy and Hilary and Hollis and Sasha and Amelia not just on this front but on all fronts on approaching life


These are a few of my favorite things, in no particular order but starting with your singing of the line these are few of my favorite things in your wonderfully off key singing voice (always made me smile)
Your love of art and music and how you instilled that passion in me, and in all of us.
What a delight it was growing up touring museums and the Smithsonian, and going to the nutcracker suite every holiday season. And later going to the philharmonic, the ballet, the theater, and meeting you and daddy to enjoy a free concert in the park.

We loved the way you were so jazzed to move into the city so you could easily take advantage of Lincoln Center, MOMA, Speakers at NYU Law School, the Jewish Museum, Sutton Place Synagogue and Temple Emmanuel to name a few. And we looked forward to your in depth recounting of each event. When they began with ohhh it was soo interesting We knew we were about to be turned on to an artist, or writer, or point of view. But sometimes it was ehh not so much No matter which, we got such pleasure vicariously enjoying your unique perspectives.


We love your generosity of spirit and though you taught us that family always comes first, you embraced our partners into the family fold, and invited our friends to join in your brisket, baked chicken, and the annual search for the affikommen- we think one is still lost in the piano bench.


We are forever inspired by and grateful for your determination to live life only as you designed

For your love affair with daddy

and your ability to make each of us feel so loved, equally.


These are all things mom and we are so thankful that we lived every moment recognizing how precious they are, not putting things off for another day. Yet there is so much more we want to do with you and share with you.

You are forever our love, our heart, our hazel.

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