Lee Kutnick June 22, 1914 - Nov. 23, 2010 Passed away peacefully at home, on November 23, at age 96. Born Lisette Levy in Cairo, Egypt, Lee immigrated to this country in 1923. Lee was predeceased by parents Albert & Rose Levy, sister Sarah, brothers Nissim (Jimmy) and Joshua (Joe), and youngest sister Julie, who passed away in April. She is survived by son Ben Kutnick and wife Eileen, daughter Esther Kutnick and husband Larry Antila, and grandson Chase MacLennan, all of San Francisco, along with many beloved nieces and nephews. San Francisco became Lee's home in the '30s, where she married Sam Kutnick, who died in 1966. She loved the openness and tolerance of the City, and told stories of a vibrant, active life here in the 30s & 40s. She was fiercely independent, a voracious reader, and refused to conform to anyone's expectations. She was an expert seamstress, dazzling friends, family, & coworkers with her unique creations. The first in her family to graduate high school, Lee excelled in academics, athletics, and music, but couldn't afford college. At 17, she went to work in a garment factory. Lee worked tirelessly as a community and union organizer, devoting her life to making the world a better place for working people. She was Secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, organizing support for American volunteers in Spain to fight fascism in the '30s. Lee accompanied Brigade veterans on the 50th anniversary trip to Spain. An office worker for more than 50 years, & member of OPEIU Local 3, Lee's last job was in the office of Sheet Metal Workers Local 104. She worked until age 87, & never wanted to retire. Donations may be made to the Labor Archives and Research Center of San Francisco State University, 480 Winston Dr., San Francisco 94132, where the Lisette and Sam Kutnick - Abraham Lincoln Brigade Collection is housed.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 11 to Dec. 12, 2010.