Sylvia Levinson Sissman
SISSMAN, Sylvia (Levinson) Sissman, 93, of West Hartford, dearly loved daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, died peacefully at home on Thursday, April 27, 2006. A vital and generous woman who adored life, she will be sorely missed by the myriads of relatives, friends and care-givers with whom she shared time, energy unvarnished counsel and love. She was the widow of Nathaniel Maxwell Sissman. Sylvia was born in New York City, and attended Hunter College until the Depression years pushed her into the workforce full time. From her humble beginnings as a typist at a resident buying firm, New York’s McGreevey Wering & Howell, she rose to the pinnacle of Fashion Director for them, forecasting fashion trends and colors for stores like Marshall Field’s in Chicago and many others around the country who were clients and relied on Sylvia’s acumen to order their clothing styles each season. Syl married her prince, ‘Nick’ Sissman in 1935 and gave up her career in 1949 to mother adored son Michael. A few years after Nick’s tragic death in 1954, she and son Mike moved to West Hartford where she employed her varied skills to promote ‘still young’ Beth El Temple. She directed office and building staff for 25 years until her retirement, as well as acting as Rabbi Kessler’s secretary and mainstay of its lay leadership. Her parents, Ida and Louis Levinson followed her to West Hartford a few years after she arrived and lived happily there until their deaths in the 1970's. After she ‘retired’, she indulged her passion for all the arts even more- music, theater, dance, museums, poetry, books, movies- never satiated, always curious. Flowers filled her with delight. She could discuss philosophy, politics and art with equal verve and knowledge- and did! Throughout her life she exuded joy in the smallest pleasures and inspired others to greater appreciation. She will live in Technicolor for all those who had the privilege of knowing and loving her. She leaves her son, Michael G. Sissman and his partner Theora Gilliam of Northampton, MA; her sister, Anita H. Sigel and her husband Paul of Delray Beach, FL and Avon; her brother, Gerald Levinson and his wife Risha of Garden City, NY; and adoring nieces and nephews, cousins by the dozens, and a host of friends. A special thanks go to the Hebrew Home for warm and caring doctors, nurses and aides, and to her personal care-givers, Marvia and Shirley. Funeral services will be held TODAY, April 28, 2006 at 1:30 PM in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford with Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler and Rabbi James Rosen officiating. Interment will follow in Beth El Temple Cemetery, Avon. A memorial period will be observed at the home of her sister, 2 Hounds Chase, (Hunter's Run), Avon 06001. through Tuesday evening. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hebrew Home & Hospital, 1 Abrahms Blvd., West Hartford 06117. For further information, directions, or to share memories of Sylvia with her family, please visit online at

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