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Tuesday, August 27, 2013


A formal portrait of Merle taken on their first extended cruise.  I borrowed this from Michael's blog of their trip.
     Last night I attended a lovely memorial for Merle Berelowitz organized by her family and close friend Suzanne Golden.  The crowd was composed of Merle's family, Merle's beading friends, and her husband Michael's friends from the medical community. 
     I didn't a take a lot of photos because it wasn't that kind of a gathering but I had to share some of Merle's work that was placed around the gathering place for those who hadn't see much of her beadwork.
A felt and bead necklace.

     Merle's family and Suzanne Golden, her BFF, said a few words about Merle.  The two that I remember best were Suzanne's and Michael's eulogies.  Suzanne gave us a very touching  (and funny) look at her friendship with Merle, including a typical day of interactions.  As we know, Merle was someone who was early to bed and early to rise--Suzanne, not so much.  Despite that, Merle would call Suzanne at the early hour of 10:00 am to share something with her.  From then, it would be phone calls and Facebook communications through the day and evening as each one though of something to tell the other.
     Suzanne told us that she had to drag Merle onto Facebook because Merle thought it wasn't for her but once Merle got the hang of social media, she was off and running.  In fact, Suzanne was amazed to hear from the number of people in far-flung places who had been touched by Merle.  She joked that she was shocked to find out that Merle had  been cheating on her.
One of the best part of Suzanne's eulogy was the travel section when she talked about the group of friends who went to Bead and Button.  Merle, experienced traveler that she was, packed lightly enough to carry her bags onto the plane and was  horrified at the amount of luggage that everyone else brought with them.  There was much more but it doesn't make the jump into a blog post--you really had to be there.

Merle's husband, Michael, said a few words after Suzanne.  He told us that he met Merle when she was a beautiful, 17-year-old in South Africa.  He remembered how they had moved to the United States for Michael's medical career, far from family back in South Africa.  Through the years, he saw Merle blossom into an artist, along with her other roles of wife, mother, and grandmother. 

Some of Merle's painted acrylic flowers accompanied by a photo of the young Merle.

A necklace with more painted flowers and a bead embroidery cuff.

A very colorful necklace of Merle's painted flowers.

Some of our friends from the Bead Society of Greater New York.
Sorry Suzanne, but Merle cheated on you with me as well. 
Here are the leftover, little fabric people that Merle gave me after she finished decorating a Panamanian hat with fiber figures that she also bought in Panama.  The butterfly in the middle was given out last night in memory of Merle.
To end the evening on a high-note, I took a photo of Suzanne Golden wearing the skull necklace that Merle bought for her in Milan.

It was a  lovely evening as we shared our memories of Merle, watched slide of old photos of her and her family, and admired her beadwork.  We will all miss the light that she brought into our lives. 


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