On December 10, 2015 Brookline lost one of her all-time greatest residents.
Ethel Weiss died at the age of 101. Despite Ethel’s living past the century mark, to many in this community her passing feels like it comes too soon.
There are those we remember for some singular outstanding achievement. We remember Ethel for what she did every day. Ethel was the hands-on owner and operator of the legendary Irving’s Toy and Card Shop from January 1939 until last Thursday.
Every day for 76 years, she served, mentored, listened to and absolutely delighted Brookline’s young people. She also sold copies of her beautifully written “Thoughts for a Happier Life” at the store. She would always offer to autograph it for customers with a personalized message. For many, just spending time with Ethel made them happy.
For her 7-1/2 decades of service at Irving’s, Ethel received local and national recognition. In 2014, Ethel honored us by letting us honor her. At the Brookline Youth Awards, we presented her with the inaugural Ethel Weiss Service Award, an award that goes to the Brookline businessperson who best exemplifies service, commitment and passion toward Brookline’s young people. Chobee Hoy received the award last year. For local business owners in Brookline, Ethel and Irving’s will always operate as their North Star.
For thousands of Brookline residents—past and present—memories of Ethel are rooted in their personal connection with her. While many in the coming days will feel a profound sense of loss at her passing, Ethel will live forever in the memories of all she has blessed. That’s how it is when an adult is present in the life of a young person.
Ethel Weiss was the beloved wife of the late Abraham Weiss and Irving Kravetz, devoted mother of Janice White of North Port, FL and Anita Jamieson and her husband John of Brookline, dear step-mother of Arlene Silverstein and her husband Alan of Monroe Township, NJ, and the late Barry Weiss and his wife Reva. Ethel was the grandmother of 12 wonderful grandchildren and 15 precious great grandchildren. Services will be held at Congregation Kehillath Israel, 384 Harvard Street, Brookline on Wednesday, December 16 at 12:00pm. Interment will be at Lindwood Memorial Park, Randolph. Memorial observance will be at her residence on Wednesday following the interment and Thursday 1-4 and 6-8pm. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to a charity of the donator’s choice.
Harvey Bravman, Publisher