Photography

Sylvia Fried

September 9, 1932 ~ July 21, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old

Sylvia Fried Obituary

Sylvia Fried lived a long and interesting life, leaving us several weeks shy of what would have been her 91st birthday. She was born on September 9, 1932, in Bucharest, Romania, While she lived there during happy times with her mother and uncles as a young girl before World War II, living there during the war was not easy. Although subjected to legal discrimination and administrative oppression, the Jews of Bucharest were not deported to concentration camps like those living elsewhere in Romania and across much of central and eastern Europe. Her mother, her uncles, and she survived the war generally unscathed.

After more than 5 years after the war living under the Communists, Sylvia and her mother finally obtained exit visas in 1950 and emigrated to Israel. She initially lived in Haifa before serving for two years in the Israel Defense Forces, where she achieved the rank of sergeant. She emigrated to the United States in 2 1957, living first on Long Island and eventually settling on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which became her home for more than 50 years.

Sylvia became a U.S. Citizen as quickly as possible and felt very strongly that America is the greatest country on Earth... a place where she wasn't discriminated against based on her religion or her country of origin ... and where education and hard work paid off. She assimilated so thoroughly that she spoke English (albeit with a hard to pin down accent) and had a broader vocabulary than most native-born speakers. The half century between 1965 and 2010 were joyful ones, including getting married, having two children, and countless other fun times.

She loved her husband and her children dearly. Mom attended countless school sporting events, school plays, and my piano recitals (the latter of which was part of a delusional aspiration to be the mother of the next Mozart or Beethoven). 3 Additionally, Sylvia loved to travel and visited more than 30 countries across six continents. Perhaps most of all, she loved classical music. She moved to the Upper West Side at a time when that neighborhood did not remotely resemble the upscale and wholly gentrified area that it is today; she did so primarily for one reason - its proximity to Lincoln Center. She loved telling people that she could leave her apartment at 7:45pm and be in her seat in time for an 8pm curtain.

She was a season ticket holder at the Metropolitan Opera House, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet for decades. Additionally, she volunteered for a time at the Met during her 60s. She also immensely enjoyed Broadway theater and attending concerts at Carnegie Hall. Needless to say, her evenings were frequently busy. She simply loved living in New York City, a place she firmly believed what the greatest city on the planet. 4 Not all of her hobbies were as benign as watching Verdi or Puccini at the Met. She was a smoker for more than 50 years, before finally quitting in her 60s (something I thought would never happen). She also loved to play blackjack at casinos and playing poker, often spending nights after her kids were grown at the Player's Club, an underground poker club on the Upper West Side. She was immensely proud of her children's accomplishments, including her son becoming a lawyer and her daughter becoming a social worker. Mom also loved her daughter-in-law, Annette, as much as if she was her daughter.

She also took great pride in her four grandsons, Ryan, Skyler, Daniel, and Sammy. Unfortunately, the good times did not last forever. Sylvia was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2010 at age 77. Eventually, Sylvia moved her to an assisted living facility in Falls Church near my home. She lived there for the 5 last seven years of her life. Sylvia Fried was a fighter her entire life, surviving the regimes of numerous dictators, settling in Israel and serving in its Army, and making the United States her home. She battled Alzheimer's for 13 years, more than twice as long as average. A good part of her last months were spent watching operas on YouTube. Her favorite was always, without question, Luciano Pavarotti. She had the pleasure of seeing him sing on many occasions at the Met. The last week of Sylvia’s life was spent in the hospital. Fortunately, her children, two of her grandchildren, and several others were able to say goodbye to her in person. Sylvia Fried passed away while her children held her and while listening to Pavarotti sing Verdi's 6 Rigoletto, something that she loved. She lived a good and long life. 

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Services

Graveside Service
Tuesday
July 25, 2023

11:00 AM
Beth Moses Cemetery
1500 Wellwood Ave
Babylon, NY 11704

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