Selma Berman (1920 - 2019)

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    - Kathy Dwyer Piazza
Service Information
E Merrill Smith Funeral Home Inc
2309 Broad Ave
Altoona, PA
Calling hours
Friday, Oct. 11, 2019
1:00 PM
E Merrill Smith Funeral Home Inc
2309 Broad Ave
Altoona, PA 16601
View Map
Friday, Oct. 11, 2019
2:00 PM
E Merrill Smith Funeral Home Inc
2309 Broad Ave
Altoona, PA 16601
View Map

Selma Slonimsky Berman died peacefully on October 5, 2019 at Havenwood Retirement Center in Concord, NH with family members by her side. She was six months short of her 100th birthday.

Selma was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Leon and Pearl Slonimsky. For two years after high school, she enrolled in business associate courses at Temple University, followed by three years working for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 1945, Selma married Altoona native Arnold Berman, who died in 1993. They raised four children - Stephen Berman, of West Palm Beach FL; Joel Berman (husband of Mary Dwyer Berman) of Concord NH; Deborah Berman, of Hartford ME; and Alan Berman (husband of Debra Zegas Berman) of Brookfield, CT.

Selma was a member of Temple Beth Jacob, Hadassah, and the National Council of Jewish Women.

Selma's biggest joy was her family. As she told more than 100 relatives at the 2017 Berman Family Reunion, "What makes me want to go on living is having such a caring family who's always there for me."

Selma was blessed with a long and loving life. She remained vigorous throughout her 90's, attending concerts and lectures, traveling to out-of-state family events, and conscientiously completing her daily crossword puzzle.

One of her passions was attending full dress rehearsals of the Boston Pops. Another was finding the perfect greeting card for each of her family members and friends, meticulously matching the card with the traits of its recipient.

She remained in good health up to the last several weeks of her life. Never fearful of dying, she maintained an unshakable conviction that death will reunite her with her beloved husband Arnold.

In addition to her four children, she is survived by grandchildren Laura Berman, of Frederick MD; Jeremy Berman (husband of Laura Elizabeth) of Mt. Pleasant SC; Julia Berman, of Boston MA; Brett Berman (husband of Marcella) of Mt. Pleasant SC; and Cory Berman, of Pembroke NH. She is also survived by great-grandchildren Caleb, Elin, and Liv. Selma was predeceased by her younger brother Sol Slonimsky and by her granddaughter Alexa, who died in 2008 .

The family extends deep gratitude to the entire staff of Havenwood Retirement Center for their loving and professional care, with a special shout-out to her aides Audra, Kaylee, and Jessica.

The funeral will be held Friday, October 11 in Altoona, PA at the E Merrill Smith Funeral Home, 2309 Broad Avenue. There will be a meet and greet at 1 pm. The service will begin at 2 pm, Rabbi Audrey Korotkin of Temple Beth Israel officiating. Interment at Mount Sinai cemetery will follow.

At a later date, a memorial service will be held at Havenwood Retirement Center, 33 Christian Avenue in Concord NH.

In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to honor Selma can send a donation to the National Council of Jewish Women: contact Page Yarborough, Associate Director, Development (240) 509-5506.
Published in The Concord Monitor on Oct. 9, 2019
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