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April 04, 2003 - Image 149

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-04-04

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Obituaries are updated regularly and archived on J N Online:

The Jewish News helped

my family acclimate itself

to the Detroit Jewish


Energy And Charisma

Dr. Irving Kersh, a dentist, until his
death in 1998. They were Temple Israel
members. She was a Hadassah group
hose who knew Belle Kersh
leader at one time and also belonged to
agree that she was unflag-
Pioneer Women and B'nai B'rith
gingly energetic and devoted
to her family.
As her niece Ilene Monkman
And, for most of her life, she was one
explained, Mrs. Kersh was curious about
"hot redhead" with charisma
everybody and everything.
to burn, said daughter
She loved to talk and tell
Marilyn Schwartz.
stories but also "showed
Mrs. Kersh, 92, a former
undivided interest in
Detroiter of Clearwater, Fla.,
whomever she spoke to
died March 15, 2003.
and would ask a million
Mrs. Kersh had two long
and productive careers. First,
Mrs. Kersh "traveled at
she was a kindergarten
the drop of a hat," her
teacher with the Detroit.
niece said, and did her
Public Schools for more
best to visit all of the far-
than 40 years. Then, she
flung relatives she kept in
became a director of son
touch with. Few things
David Kersh's former Metro
gave Mrs. Kersh more
Passbooks enterprise —
pleasure than taking care
Belle Kersh
involved in sales and oversee-
of her son David's three
ing the production and
daughters. She frequently
printing of the dining-entertainment
took the girls places and hosted sleep-
coupon books sold in the United States
and Canada.
David said his mother was fastidious
Born in New York City and raised in
about her appearance. "Even when she
Detroit, Mrs. Kersh finished high school was close to 90, she would not go any-
early at age 14 and plunged into work.
. where without having her hair done," he
Brother Irving Steinberg remembers her
said. "Her clothes were always immacu-
job in a food market during the
Piano playing was one of Belle Kersh's
"She always loved people — I never
many talents. Marilyn said her mother
saw anything like it," he said. "She
had played at the Marriott Hotel in
brought the customers in."
Clearwater as recently as six weeks ago.
Mrs. Kersh graduated as a teacher
She also retained her charm. Once
from Michigan Normal College (the
after Marilyn had stepped away, she
forerunner of Eastern Michigan
returned to find Mrs. Kersh, then in her
University) in Ypsilanti. During her dis-
70s, "entertaining. 15 guys in the lobby
tinguished career, she introduced innova- of the Hilton Hotel in Phoenix." She
tive curricula that eventually were adopt- just looked on in amazement at her
ed for all Detroit kindergartners, daugh-
charismatic mom.
ter Marilyn said.
Mrs. Kersh is survived by her sons,
When Mrs. Kersh retired from teach-
David Kersh of Hawaii, Richard Kersh
ing in 1972 at Detroit's Courville
of Boca Raton, Fla.; daughter, Marilyn
Elementary School, her students were in
Schwartz of Clearwater, Fla.; brother
tears, said son David.
and sister-in-law, Irving and Adel
But retiring was not her intention, as
Steinberg of Farmington Hills; grand-
she turned her talents to Metro
children, Jacqueline, Jessie and Ashley
"She was a whiz at math and could
She was the beloved wife of the late
sell anything to anyone," David said.
Dr. Irving Kersh and dear sister of the
At 73, she founded her own business,
late Marion Phillips.
Metro Publications, to handle produc-
Interment was at Machpelah
tion of the coupon books. She retired
Cemetery. Contributions may be made
eight years later in 1991.
to a charity of one's choice.
Mrs. Kersh was married 63 years to
Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel.

- Jacqueline, Farmington Hills

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