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FRIEDBERG--Elinor ("Sharita"), age 41. Wife of Karl Blume, daughter of Richard Friedberg and Leslie Kandell, sister of Cindy Marvell Brown and Jon Alex Friedberg, aunt of Theo Marvell Brown. Elinor lived a life of creativity and style, filled with music, art and friends who adored her. Born in New York, she attended LaGuardia High School and Reed College. She settled in Portland, Ore., and taught dance at Reed and at Portland State University. She produced dance works set to music of Stravinsky and Gershwin among others, designed costumes, and was working on a book, "The Evergreen Garden," about plants in her own garden. Her lively Thanksgiving parties often featured Bach cantatas with satirical texts. "O Magnum Mysterium," to music of Elgar, was performed in May by the Bach Cantata Choir, of which she was a member. (It is on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZbfZGZWEm8.) Elinor fought for what she believed in, and her courage and exuberance during her final illness were an inspiration. Cindy wrote: "My younger sister danced on the edge of a song that brought her into life as a warrior and rarely bored her. She crafted nature into vessels of life and wove love into dreams that permeated her house." Memorial services will be held in September in Portland, Ore., and New York City.

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Published in New York Times on Jul. 10, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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37 entries
September 4, 2012
You were an awesomely amazing person! Thank you for being who you are and one of the best belly dance teachers ever!!!
gretchen bosso
August 20, 2012
Oh, dear Elinor! I happened to sit next to your dad today...at a memorial, of all things, for a mutual friend. Your mom could not make it, but she left me a phone message in which she mentioned her daughter's passing. I had to extend my condolences to your dad...never guessing that you and I faced the same thing. I too was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. I have seen far too many amazing young women lose their lives to it, and now I add you as another beloved one. I am so sorry I won't get to meet you. But how incredible, and how loved, you obviously were. It just takes my breath away. I am now 4 years out from my diagnosis. I hope and pray for many decades more, in which I will continue to advocate for promising treatments, more research geared to young women, and a cure for this horrible disease. You were a bright light, and I know that you shine in the hearts of all who knew you. Love, Pam
August 5, 2012
I never knew the extent and depth of Elinor's talents until it was too late. I am so sad that I didn't make or take the time or effort to find out
August 2, 2012
The last time I saw Elinor, she was wearing a bright red dress, a beautiful smile and holding the hand of her beloved, Karl. This will remain the way I remember her.
Liz Bacon
July 19, 2012
Just over a year ago, we were saddened by Elinor's passing, but she'll not be forgotten.
July 16, 2012
Dear Karl and the Friedberg Family,
My name is Elizabeth Kafka Hinkis and I was in the Bank Street Class of 1984 with Elinor. I just found out yesterday, from reading a Bank Street publication, about Elinor's passing. Although we didn't keep in touch, almost 30 years later I can remember Elinor clearly, especially her smile. She used to show me how to apply makeup (at age 13, I knew nothing about this but she was great at it!). Looking at her grown up picture brings me right back to those days. I'll never forget her.
Elizabeth Kafka
August 15, 2011
Dear Karl and the Friedberg Family,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It has been many years since I last saw Elinor however, through Barbara Meyerson (my aunt) I remained connected. My Aunt Barbara spoke so highly of Elinor. She always raved about her dancing and her creativity. My thoughts are with you all.
Lesley Meyerson
August 5, 2011
Elinor wore a red dress to her wedding. This seemed to surprise no one—she was no shrinking violet. She was a person of courage, passion, and yes, a sense of humor. She was just about the only person on earth who could wear a scarlet tulle ballgown, and look completely natural. Most people would have been upstaged in a dress like this—but Elinor was radiant. And I’ve never seen Karl look more proud.
At the reception, she insisted we get our pictures taken together. I was surprised, since I was neither a family member nor a lifelong friend. But she made me feel like both. Elinor had a way of focusing on you as if you were the only person in the room, even in a class filled with a dozen other awkward college students learning to belly dance, or while preparing five dishes simultaneously for her much lauded Thanksgiving feasts.
On her wedding day, I felt the importance of our brief moment together, so much that I wasn’t sure what to say. So I fell back on the dress and told her that she looked absolutely gorgeous, like Violetta in the opera La Traviata. She got the reference right away, and she laughed. I think she knew I was trying to tell her how brave she was—and how unforgettable.
Now I think red will always be her color for me. Instead of black in mourning for her, I’ve chosen to wear red in celebration of her life. Just a scarf or a necklace or a pair of shoes. I could never pull off an entire ballgown, of course. And when I wear it, maybe I’m just that much bolder, a touch more glamorous, more focused on celebrating life every day. And I think Elinor would approve.
Hannah Gildea
August 5, 2011
Elinor and Theo, St. Johns 2010
Soloist, collaborator, sister, I will miss you in word, dance and deed. I know you left gracefully and found peace.
Cindy Marvell Brown
August 1, 2011
I knew Elinor a long time but, being a generation older and living far away, can't say we were really part of each other's lives. Yet we hit it off from the start and distance never dimmed my feeling she was a real friend with whom I could take up the conversation wherever we had left off. Elinor was definitely one of those imaginative, funny, and alive people with whom you could talk about anything and find yourself fully engaged.
Stephen Margolies
July 26, 2011
Beautiful lady, you will dance in my heart as long as I live.
July 25, 2011
"Every night the voice grows bolder,
Come along, won't you come along home.
Song gets sweeter as I get older,
Come along, won't you come along home."
The Tom Paxton song you like.
Love, Mom
July 24, 2011
I miss you, my love.
Karl Blume
July 24, 2011
elinor you are and always will be a dearest friend. our time together much too short yet very special. i appreciate your kind words and friendship. You were an exceptional person
will remain a warm glowing friend in my memory.
giancarlo poletti
July 22, 2011
I wish I had known and gotten to say goodbye, but I understand why she didn't tell me. Goodbye Elinor, your bright and beautiful spirit will be missed.
Amy Enell
July 22, 2011
A beautiful dancer, and a beautiful person. I'll always remember laughing at the Oregon Country Fair with her.
Rachel Shaw
July 20, 2011
I only got to meet Elinor once but knew her to be a vibrant, amazing woman who absolutely captured Karl's heart and will forever be loved and missed by many.
Gabrielle Ariceaga
July 20, 2011
Elinor will be forever memorialized on the Tuomi Christmas Party wall, making her grand entrance in the bright red flamenco dress. She added creativity and energy to everything she undertook--and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Leslie Tuomi
July 20, 2011
as i love plants we didn't share just one streak of destiny: the most intense, honest, eye opening moments i recall with her - will never forget Elinor for all these times and that breakfast treat in august 2010. thank you, dear! i keep praying - for you and the ones you left crying - not just in Palma's cathedral...
July 18, 2011
I didn't know Elinor all that well, but what I do remember about her was that she always wore a smile!
Amy Vestboe
July 18, 2011
I remember Elinor performing at the Oregon Bach Festival wrap party several years ago...belly dancing onstage to solo piano...I can see her eyes, twinkling and expressive, and hear the cheering of the audience, surprised by how well the dance and music suited. Stylish and amazing.
Amy Adams
July 18, 2011
I did not know Elinor well at all. I knew, though, that she meant so very much to Karl, whom I do know and admire. He would not invest his love and caring foolishly. She meant, and continues to mean, so very much to him, and has been a great comfort and support for him over the years. She would have to have been very special, to have had such an impact on him. I mourn her passing from his life.
July 18, 2011
Elinor, I never met you, and I'm sorry that now I never will. You made someone of whom I'm very fond very happy, and for that I mourn your loss, but I know that even though you've gone, what you gave to Karl can never be taken away, ever.
Adrian Salmon
July 18, 2011
Elinor was a force of nature. The world is the lesser without her, but the ripples she made will never end.
Lark Ryan
July 18, 2011
Memory Eternal
Norman Wakefield
July 17, 2011
Elinor's wedding cake
Elinor was one-of-a-kind in combining her duel loves of bellydance and classical music. Her day after Thanksgiving parties featured the biggest turkeys i've ever seen. From her landscaping to her dance studio to the tile work in her bathroom, she put her creativity into everything around her.
Annette "Latifa" Ripplinger
July 15, 2011
Elinor, I did not know you well but we will always share La Guardia. Keep making music in heaven.
Antonia Russo
July 14, 2011
Elinor graduated from Reed a year or two before I started. I met her when she happened upon the brass quintet I was in once and stopped and listened to us practice in the chapel and gave us some performance notes. She would also come by the media center often where I worked to listen to music. Though she and I were never close, I remember all those times we spent talking about music.

I am glad that she had what little time she was given to share her creativity with all of us. My condolences to her husband, family, and her close friends.
Adam Robins
July 12, 2011
Karl, it was always so obvious how completely you loved Elinor and she you! I am so glad that you two found each other. It is a rare sight to see love such as yours. I feel blessed to have known Elinor, to see her smile and her view of the world.
Angel Lambart
July 11, 2011
I held Elinor in my highest honor of an artistic challenger. Always had to bring my creative A game.
Charlie Walsh
July 11, 2011
Karl and the Friedberg family, I am so sorry for your loss and for the world's loss. Every time I've ever thought of Elinor over the years, a smile has always come to my face. "Use a Spork" will always remain on the top of the list of songs I love to perform. My thoughts are with you and her.
Shari Berman
July 11, 2011
I love you, my darling.
Karl Blume
July 10, 2011
It's true. I found maybe 3 photos in almost 2500 Karl posted on flickr in which she wasn't smiling or being funny. One was of her feet, the other was her sleeping. A light has been extinguished, but lives on in our hearts.
Jan G
July 10, 2011
Karl and the Friedbarg family, I am so saddened to read about the loss of Elinor. We were roommates years ago and I remember her as a creative and passionate spirit with a large laugh and an even larger embrace of life. Elinor will be missed by many, far and wide.
Meg Finley
July 10, 2011
Karl, I did not know Elinor very well but since you loved her she had to be a most exceptional person. My heart aches for your loss but I am so glad that you were able to have the quality time spent with her though it was short. So many of us don't ever have the chance to experience the bliss nor the blessings you had with her. She will live in your heart forever. God bless you my dear friend.
Toni Amodeo
July 10, 2011
I have never seen Elinor when she wasn't laughing or smiling. She was so full of life and was an inspiration to all who knew her.
Dale Peterson
July 10, 2011
Elinor, I loved singing with you. Performing your Ground Hog Cantata was hilarious, and doing the "o Magnum Mysterium" was sublime. I will always remember your wit, compassion, and Crazy personality. I will also miss seeing Sharita perform at the parties after the Bach Cantata Choir concerts.
Wayne Carlon
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