Corinne Levine Blumenthal was born on December 26th, 1935 in Brooklyn, NY to Sam Levine and Claire Prager Levine, she passed on March 27th 2022.
To anyone who had the honor to know Corinne Blumenthal, they got to see what unconditional love for family and friends looked like. Her world was small compared to many others, she really only focused on her close family and friends. She poured everything into those people and never desired to make her world bigger than that. Out of that intense unconditional love was a home, a place, a time that everyone in her world felt safest and most loved with her near. They could always be their authentic selves, because she only cared about how they were doing and also, if they were well fed.
It took me nearly all my 58 years to grasp the full impact of how that love poured in tidal waves through three generations and continues to grow. Children in their fifties and sixties, grand children in their twenties, thirties and forties and many, many great grandchildren from two to thirteen, who all feel the same way. They hug and kiss and want to hang out with their Gigi, every day, every time, every call, every interaction always opened and closed with “I love you”.
Mom did not have many rules or even expectations about grades, college, degrees, careers, sports and other things when we were growing up. She just wanted us to be happy and to love fully and that made our little home the place that all of my friends wanted to just hang out. There was a never ending supply of Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, Entenmanns Black Out Cake and mostly a never ending supply of love.
Looking back on her life as an adult, she made It all look easy, but her path was not easy. Married as a young woman to her first husband, with whom she had three children and at 25 years old became a widow with three children under five years old. A couple years later, met and married Mel Blumenthal, the man who completed her and adopted her three children as his own and then had a fourth. Dad had two boys from his previous marriage and we became a home with sometimes as many as six kids and two parents in 1,300 square feet and 1.5 bathrooms.
Mom and Dad raised us in a small house in a small town, Toms River, NJ where they owned a small jewelry store ( Corinne Jewelers ) that is still there today in its third generation now. As children, we did not want for anything, as I came to learn, Mom and Dad struggled with cash flow and profits in that business, but persevered for decades and never brought any of the stress home. We had food, clothes and bicycles and we had two cars, which was a big deal back then.
I share this all with you to shed light and pay homage to this amazing woman and to, perhaps, explain the heart break we all feel that the last in a great generation of loving parents and grandparents are now all gone. As passing goes, It does not get much better than dying peacefully in your home with your children by your side and every care and every need tended to twenty four hours a day. But in the end, you are just a little boy or girl, who has to say good-bye to their Mom and no one ever wants to say good-bye to their Mom.
If you want to honor my Mom’s memory, make sure you hug a little longer and never leave a conversation without telling that person that you love them. Have lots of food in your refrigerator to share and think about the other person first and always. I can show you three generations in her family that live that every day and it’s beautiful to watch.
We are bringing Mom back to Toms River to be laid to rest next to Dad and her Brother, Mother, Father and Grand Parents. There will be a very small grave side service and gathering afterwards. We are thinking we will do a celebration of her life in Tampa sometime in April and one in New Jersey sometime in the summer.
In the grand Jewish tradition, I know many of our friends and family will want to send food. Please don’t worry about that. If you want to honor Corinne Blumenthal, go buy some Entenmanns Black Out Cake or, if you can find them Devil Dogs and Ring Dings and feed your friends and family. If you want to give something, send It to the Ukrainian refugees, those poor souls need help and G-d knows that my family does not need any more food . Our Friends Carl and Lyda have researched relief organizations and are matching donations made for Ukraine via this site https://cftampabay.org/give_now/ukrainecrisisrelieffund/
We are grateful for all of your thoughts and prayers over the last month.
Marc and the entire extended Blumenthal Clan