SHIRLEY Lowy’s yahrzeit candle “will forever provide the opportunity to light one extra flame before Chanukah each year, as if to extend the light even further”, Rabbi Benji Levy said at her funeral in Israel last Thursday.
Lady Shirley, wife to Westfield founder Sir Frank and matriarch of the Lowy family, passed away in Tel Aviv aged 86 last Wednesday, December 9, just before Chanukah.
“She did everything for her family and they never remember a moment that she wasn’t there for them,” Rabbi Levy said in his eulogy.
“Shirley was all about her home. A home of Jewish pride, of warmth and of family.
“Frank and Shirley pumped Yiddishkeit into their home and she was so proud that her children absorbed this pride.”
Statement from the Lowy family following the passing of Lady Shirley Lowy on December 9:“It is with deepest sorrow…
Rabbi Levy also spoke of how “Israel held a special place in Shirley’s heart” and that it was fitting her life culminated “in her land, with her boys [David, Peter and Steven], farewelling her dear Frank on the anniversary of the first time they met”.
In a statement paying tribute to “our beloved wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great grandmother”, the Lowy family said, “Her loss to us is immense and will be deeply felt forever.
“While she never sought a role in our family’s involvement in corporate life, she provided the secure base on which it was built. She kept us conscious of the most important things in life.
“We will always honour her memory, and take some small comfort in the fact that the good she did touched thousands of lives.”
Lady Shirley’s philanthropic work included starting the Chai Foundation to help needy families, establishing scholarships at Moriah College and setting up housing for at-risk children in Israel.
JewishCare CEO Claire Vernon, whose organisation took over administering the Chai Foundation in 2011, said Lady Shirley “worked tirelessly” and “many hundreds of people in the community benefited from her generosity”.
“JewishCare is proud to continue her wonderful work and ensure that her legacy will live on,” she said.
Moriah College president Stephen Jankelowitz said, “In her quiet, but determined and effective manner, Shirley was focused on supporting the most vulnerable families in our community and did so in a manner that made it easy for them to receive support.”
Orr Shalom (Israel) vice-president Naomi Liberman said, “Her generosity enabled Orr Shalom to establish Beit Yaacov Zeev, a foster centre in Kiryat Ono, and Beit Golda, a therapeutic family group home in the Jerusalem area.
“The children of Beit Golda warmly remember ‘Savta Shirley’ and the love and warmth she always brought with her.”
Shirley met Frank at a Chanukah party in 1953 and they married in 1954.
She is survived by Sir Frank, David, Peter, Steven, Margo and Judy Lowy, 11 grandchildren, their partners and seven great-grandchildren.