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A tribute to my Mom

Written by Kathryn Spira


What a week it was! George Michael passed away Christmas Day. Carrie Fisher on Tuesday, Debbie Reynolds on Wednesday. But worst of all for me, my Mom passed away at 8:30PM, Monday, Dec. 26 at age 90.

Sadly, with her having Alzheimer's, I actually lost her long before the day she passed away.

I enclose a photo from 1996 of my Mom with me and sisters Debbie and Linda, my big sister, who sadly passed away a decade ago. (Left to right: Debbie, Mom, me and Linda.)

My Mom was a pistol. She escaped Nazi Germany with her family at age seven, fleeing to Belgium. The family came to America a few at a time as they could afford it. They eventually settled in Cleveland Heights to be exact.

She moved with her first husband, my father Arnie Phillips, to University Heights, so named for John Caroll University in that berg. When they split, she supported my sisters and I with modeling and became a realtor, retiring at age 80! Her first boss, Harry Zeid, gave her the impetus to become a certified realtor. She worked for him for years and he became like family.

That first job was a launching pad for her career as a realtor, where she eventually became a member of the "million dollar club," averaging more than a million dollars in sales per year. She took great care in everything she did and cared deeply what others thought of her.

We were very close, speaking to her nearly daily by phone for many years.

We laughed heartily, almost to the point of tears at times. She had an uncanny sense of humor, often being the life of the party as it were. I probably got my sense of the dramatic from her.

I bow my head in her memory and will miss her every day. She was a true inspiration.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site