Blanche Faust, 97
Blanche Faust (née Bessie Jaffe), mother of Janet Merritt of Block Island and Surprise, Arizona, and June Knopf, Marlboro, N.J. and Delray Beach, Florida, passed away on Jan. 30, 2018, in her New York apartment. Both of her daughters were with her, holding her hand, caressing her hair, singing and talking to her as she passed. She looked beautiful, her skin porcelain-like and not in any pain.
Born Nov. 13, 1920 in the Bronx, New York, she was a lifelong resident of Greenwich Village. She worked for many years at Bergdorf Goodman as a sales person and at Faust Brothers Dry Cleaning with her husband, our dad, Marvin. Her first job out of Walden High School in the Bronx was at Macy’s Herald Square, in the camera department. Blanche was a hostess and cook extraordinaire! The refrigerator was always filled with the most interesting foods, just in case someone should stop by. And, people did visit, not only her friends, but her children’s friends, as well. She was hip, friendly, and always offered helpful advice. Everyone enjoyed being in her company.
Blanche regretted not having the opportunity to go to college. Nevertheless, she never stopped learning. She took classes in Shakespeare, art history, bridge, literature… whatever she could find. She learned to swim in her 50s. Even as her vision failed, she still took art classes because she so enjoyed the enthusiasm of the teacher as he described the art. Restaurant Week in New York was her favorite week. It was this week that one could dine in the best restaurants for minimal cost. She loved eating out, to her it was like going to theater — it was an experience. She embraced the theater and opera, even when she could only get around with her trusted walker and when macular degeneration took away her vision. Weekly, you could find her on line at the Senior Center where discount theatre, opera, and concert tickets were distributed. Most tickets cost 50 cents, occasionally a ticket cost $1. That to her was expensive! She didn’t discriminate; going to NYU productions, as well Off- Off- Off-Broadway shows and everything in between. She often went with her husband Marvin, although he quite begrudgingly. What a special person, Blanche Faust! She loved life. She loved people! And, she loved her family!
Block Island was one of Blanche’s favorite destinations, and especially the yearly family reunion — everything from the chaos to the clam bake! She often visited Mallard Cove and Turtle Junction, the family homes on Block Island. She will be missed by so many, especially her children, Janet (and Ted) Merritt, and June (and Charlie) Knopf; her grandchildren, Bill Shepro (and Gina), Jon Shepro (and Julie), Jeff Shepro, Laura Perilstein (and Stuart), and Michelle (and Ryan) Herson. She also leaves three step-grandchildren, Tom (and Deb) Merritt, Andy (and Michele) Merritt and Alicyn (and David) Lambert; eight great grandchildren, and six step great-grandchildren. In her memory, donations may be made to the Block Island Health Services, the Mary D. Fund or to CHOP, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.