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Leah Frances (Posner) Adler


1920 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Leah Frances (Posner) Adler Obituary
January 12, 1920 - February 21, 2017 Beloved sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, restauranteur, and musician, Leah, affectionately known as Lee Lee to her family and friends, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Philip Posner and Jennie (Fridman) Posner. Raised during the Roaring Twenties and the Depression with her older brother Bernard, whom she adored, Leah developed a love of music when she learned piano at the age of five. She later studied at the Music Conservatory in Cincinnati and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Home Economics. In February of 1945, Leah married Arnold Meyer Spielberg and they had four children - Steven, Anne, Sue and Nancy. Arnold's work as an electrical engineer kept the family on the constant move. From Cincinnati, Leah and Arnold moved to Haddenfield, New Jersey where they lived for seven years before the family of six relocated to Phoenix, Arizona in 1957. It was here, at Louise Kerr's studio in Phoenix, where Leah often performed piano solos and with chamber music groups. An accomplished painter, she owned The Village Shop in Scottsdale where she showcased the works of local artists. Quite the character and burgeoning local celebrity, Leah became known around town as "the lady with the Peter Pan haircut" who drove a 1950 Willy's Army Jeep. The fishermen at the canal would wave and shout to her when she drove by. In 1964, the family moved to Los Gatos, California. They built a house in Saratoga and lived there for two years. After her divorce from Arnold, Leah moved back to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she married Bernie Adler in 1967. Leah and Bernie remained in Arizona with Sue and Nancy until eventually moving to Los Angeles, where they opened a kosher restaurant called The Milky Way. While known for her red lipstick and Peter Pan collars, for her love of daisies, for her blue jeans and sparkly bling, for her dancing from table to table around The Milky Way, and for her love of camping, fishing, and crossword puzzles, Leah is best remembered for her deep, limitless love for the people around her. Always rooting for the underdog and taking care of others, she had the unique ability to make each and every person she met feel like they were the center of the universe. Leah marched to the beat of her own drum, always being true to herself and never letting social norms define who she was or what she would accomplish. Hosting restaurant visitors from all over the world, Leah would give them some of her famous words of advice, saying "Guilt is a wasted emotion." Or, "Be kind to yourself." Or perhaps most poignant today, "Always leave a party early. Leave them wanting more." She is survived by her four children, Steven (wife Kate), Anne (husband Dan), Sue (husband Jerry), and Nancy (husband Shimon), 11 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to in Leah's name.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 24, 2017
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