Maurice Harry Fleishman
FLEISHMAN, Maurice Harry Maurice H. Fleishman died on September 11, 2009 at the age of 100. He died peacefully in his sleep just 23 days after a birthday party attended by family and friends at the home he built and lived in until he died. A practicing architect with an office in Beverly Hills, California until his "unofficial" retirement in 2002, Maury was best known for his "mid century" modern style of civic buildings most notable being the Santa Monica Municipal Courts (1968), Beverly Hills Municipal Courts (1970), Malibu Administrative Center (1970) and the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building (1973). His early career however included the homes of 50's era movie stars, producers, and sports greats including David O. Selznick, Leo Durocher and Lorraine Day; Marie McDonald and Harry Karl; and Ken Murray. Born August 19, 1909 in New Brighton, England, Maury emigrated with his parents Harry and Ettia to Montreal, Canada when he was a young child. His sister, Norma Block, was born 13 years after Maury. Coincidently, Maury's late wife, Susanne, also had a single sibling who was 13 years her junior. After attending and graduating from McGill University's School of Architecture in Montreal, Canada, he hitch hiked across the United States with his cousin, Hank Greenspan (later owner and editor of the Las Vegas Sun Newspaper). Along the way he sketched renderings of motels which the cousins exchanged for a room for the night. He married Susanne Miller (1919 - 1995) on April 2, 1941. Sue was an aspiring actress at the time of their marriage but she turned down a part on the Broadway stage as Maury's career was in California. Sue went on to write script for a KGO radio program and Langendorf Bread and after a long active role with the United Hostesses charity, she became a successful travel writer. She died of complications of Alzheimer's in the couple's home after a ten year illness. Maury served on the Design Control Board, small crafts harbors, Los Angeles County from 1964 well into the 90s. He designed the Marina Del Rey Yacht Club in 1965. Maury is survived by his two children, Allen Fleishman, an attorney, and Harry Fleishman, a Luthier. Allen and his wife Teresa have one son, August. Harry has two step children with his wife, Janet Rodina. Maury is survived, as well, by his sister, Norma who resides in Montreal, and his long time companion, Alyse Orleans. Although they never lived together, Alyse became a significant part of Maury's life following the death of his wife and remained so until his own passing. To say that Maury looked younger than his years was an understatement. Even in his 90s he amazed all who met him with his (now relatively) youthful appearance and demeanor. At 90 he reluctantly traded a 5-speed Porsche for a more modest automatic Mercedes which he drove for another five years. He once owned an Aston Martin which later caught fire while "stuck" in traffic. Maury escaped unharmed as was his habit. He learned to ski from an early age in Canada, deep sea fished and played gin rummy. He was a loving husband to Susanne, a generous father to Allen and Harry, and a faithful and loving companion to Alyse. In light of the party he attended celebrating his life, the family will not hold a formal event. He will be buried at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary.
Published by Los Angeles Times on Sep. 12, 2009.
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4 Entries
I am sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Fleishman. I purchased a Fleishman house that I wish to restore to original plan and have been recently researching his life work. I feel great peace in the house he designed and wish the same peace to Maurice and his family.
George
September 25, 2009
My favourite uncle, father of my favourite cousins. Am I allowed to say that? It would be nice to have another kind of family gathering. Maybe we can have Maurice design a communal house for us. I'm going to try to add a photo. All who read the original LA Times obit and my originally slightly modified one for Montreal could only remark on how he had really lived a life. I intend to put a lengthy one in the McGill alumnus mag. That will have to do. There didn't seem to be enough to say. Hope all is well in CA and that we can meet again, sooner than later.
Stephen Block
September 17, 2009
I have many, many fond memories of my Uncle Maurice. Whenever I visited him at his home, he was always so welcoming and kind and generous to me. I loved staying in his home. The design was simple, elegant, cozy and quite beautiful, both inside and out. As a young girl, I found him to be a really cool guy. I remember one visit that he and my Aunt Sue made to our home in Montreal. Elvis was all the rage at the time. My Uncle Maurice actually sat and listened to a song with me and made a kind comment about him, which immediately entered him into my "cool-guy books" forever. During another visit, he took me, all by myself, out to dinner at a French restaurant and then to a hockey game in the famed Montreal Forum to see the Montreal Habs, with Rocket Richard. He made me feel very special, my Uncle Maurice did, and for an awkward teen, that meant a lot to me. It's something I'll never forget. Uncle Maurice lived far from us - over 3000 miles away. I wish we could have seen more of him. But the times we did have together have left me with many warm memories that I will always have the enjoyment of returning to.
Joan (Block) Hughes
September 13, 2009
I have many fond memories of my Great Uncle Maurice. He was a person like no one else I have ever met in my entire life. Well into his 90s, he was so full of life, so full of vigor, he celebrated every waking moment with a smile and joy. I can only hope that I too will live that long and be able to enjoy it like him.

His contributions to architectural design concepts should not be overlooked. He was adding advanced thinking ideas 25 years before they were being used like light switches at the hand level and using hydronic floor heating.

To conclude, my favourite Uncle Maurice quote....

"When I was 65 my Doctor told me I needed to stop drinking and smoking, lose some weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. That guy died 20 years ago."
Eric Hughes
September 13, 2009
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