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Edith Tolkin


1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Edith Tolkin Obituary
November 27, 1922 - August 4, 2016 Edith Tolkin, 93, died in her home in Los Angeles, on August 4, 2016, after a long illness. Born on February 27, 1922, to Louis Leibovitch and the former Rose Mendelsohn, she grew up on Montreal's famed St. Urbain Street. She married a piano player whose parents thought he was going to accounting school, and the marriage lasted until the piano player, the late comedy writer Mel Tolkin, died in 2007. After his career was established they moved to Westchester County, where they had two sons, Michael and Stephen, both writers. Edith commuted to NYU and after two years of college applied to Columbia University Law School, in spite of her father's fear that if she worked as an attorney people would think her husband couldn't support her. One of only eight women in her class, she graduated in 1960. Future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was two years behind her and while Edith was sure they never met, it is believed in the family that Edith's fight for a woman's bathroom at the law school must have had an effect on her. In 1961, the family moved to Los Angeles, where Edith found work as an attorney for MGM and then Paramount. She retired in 1985. She served as Treasurer, Secretary and President of the Los Angeles Copyright Society. After retirement, she traveled extensively with her husband visiting every continent including Antarctica. A long time subscriber to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Odyssey Theater, she was a frequent visitor to the city's museums. She leaves behind her sons and their wives, Wendy Mogel (Michael) and Garen Tolkin (Stephen), along with their children, Susanna, Emma, Theadora, and Leo. She is survived by her beloved sister Estelle, her nephews Carl and Eric Schecter, and her grand-nieces Kate and Anna Schecter. Her unequalled recipes for mandelbrot and Romanian eggplant live on. She was an inspiration to many. While working at MGM her qualities were best summed up by Sam the Sham, of the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, whose contract she handled when they recorded Wooly Bully for an MGM movie. Sam the Sham said of her, "She's the little lady lawyer who pulls no punches." A memorial service will be held at Hillside Memorial Park at noon on Sunday August 14. A contribution to the Hillary Clinton campaign would please Edith more than flowers.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 7 to Aug. 13, 2016
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