Lois Kaufman Strauss

Her family wishes to celebrate the life of Lois Kaufman Strauss. She was a woman of talents that the family wishes to share. She had just celebrated, on last Friday, the 62nd anniversary of her marriage to Mervyn Strauss. She was a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend and love of Merv's life. She was the daughter of Karl Kaufman and Tiny Bodlander Kaufman and was raised in Worcester, MA. She was the sister of Dr. Joseph Jerome Kaufman (deceased) of Los Angeles and Frances Kaufman Fine (deceased) of West Hartford and Bloomfield. The family shares the story as to how she met Merv over 62 years ago in expressing the deep loss of her love and presence. Lois had accompanied her brother Joseph on a cross country trip from Worcester to Los Angeles so that he could join the Medical School faculty at UCLA where he became the Chief of Urology. After residing in Los Angeles for a time, Lois and her girlfriends went to the Jewish Community Center where the Tall Club was holding their meeting. When she arrived they measured everyone to be sure that they were at least 5'-8" tall before permitting them to enter. It turned out that she was only 5'-7" tall even thought she tried to stand taller. They told her she couldn't return for future meetings, but could stay for that evening. Low and behold she met this very tall, very skinny guy, who asked if he could take her home. Thus started Lois and Merv's 62 years of marriage. For some years she and Merv lived in Los Angeles where she had a plum job at a dermatology office in Beverly Hills that catered to the movie stars. There are unending stories of the movie stars including, Paul Newman coming into the office with a skin blemish the studio wanted removed. Some stories were laughable and others involved ridiculous, outsized personalities. Lois pined to be with her family, so they returned east to Connecticut where Lois and Merv had their daughter Kathy and their son Alan. They raised their children, first in Wethersfield, then after some years moved to West Hartford where they lived for 50 years. Lois loved to cook. She took gourmet cooking courses, so she could have the fun and pleasure of honing her cooking skills for family and friends. And, there were parties including a gourmet cooking group. She was famous for her cherry cheese cake that for some time she sold to the cheese shop in Avon. Besides cooking, she loved to play mahjong with the girls, play the piano, knit and became a reluctant skier with her family. She spent many a summer sailing on their yacht out of Mystic, until one day, after 20 years, she said to Merv that there must be something besides sailing, to which he responded, "What ?", thus they started their travels around the world. Lois graduated from Classical High in Worcester, MA; attended Meredith College in Raleigh, NC; and received a business degree from Bryant College in RI where she was the President of Beta Sigma Gamma. She had a career as an office manager and secretary in medical offices in Beverly Hills and West Hartford. While living in West Hartford she worked for Dr. Harvey Schuster as his office manager. Lois was a volunteer at the Wadsworth Antheneum Museum of Art and a member of Congregation Beth Israel of West Hartford where she was a past President of Sisterhood, and past Co-President of the Married's Club. Lois leaves her husband Mervyn, daughter Kathy M. Strauss and her husband GC Schow, of Woodbridge, VA; son Alan M. Strauss and his wife Lisa; grand-daughters, Stephanie Rosen of Los Angeles, CA and Jennifer Strauss of Kensington, MD; and brother-in-law Morton Fine. The family wishes to thank the devoted staff of St Mary's Mercy Care, West Hartford, for their caring and kind concern during Lois's time at their facility. Contributions may be made to the SAGE or Sisterhood funds at Congregation Beth Israel or Foodshare of Hartford. A memorial will be celebrated today, June 24, 2014 at 2:30pm in the Silberman Chapel of Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, CT. Rabbi Michael Pincus will be officiating the service. The family will receive friends directly after the memorial at her home, 41 Sequin Rd., West Hartford, CT. The family will sit Shiva on Tuesday (June 24) at 5pm. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. To extend online condolences or share a memory, please visit

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