Mildred Fischer

Mildred Fischer

FROSTBURG - The following was written by Millie Fischer ( 1919-2006):

I was born on September 2, 1919, to William and Lena Newmark. I had an older brother, Bernard, and younger sister, Ruth. Our happy little birthplace was 366 South Fifth Street, Brooklyn, New York. My father emigrated from Poland, my mother from Germany and they met one another in New York. As a youngster, I remember carrying coal with my father up our stairs to heat up our cold flat. My mother's fabulous cooking warmed my very skinny body. She made kosher food all year. Passover was a special time, as well as every Friday. We never ate pork. Mother wouldn't even say the word pork. She was well- known for her baked goods and taught me all her skills. We had separate knives and forks for dairy and for meats. I could speak Yiddish because I grew up with my grandma. I traveled all over on the trolley cars with her to interpret her Yiddish. Her name was Jenny, a fantastic lady. At age ten, I sang at the Fox Theatre over the radio. I was asked to join the group that later became the Little Rascals. Mother would not sign the contract, because our family was not allowed to be in theatre. I resented that deprivation for years. I remember asking my mother for a penny, and if she gave me two pennies I thought I was a millionaire! For a penny I could buy four green spearmint leaves. I loved them! For ten cents I could go to the movies. My father worked in the ladies garment industry. During the depression I helped out by making hats and ribbons in a factory. I got $2.00 a week. There were many children in factories and many accidents. I was a lucky one. At home we were lucky to have one meal a day. Only sons were allowed to go to Hebrew School. I disliked this idea and felt I was missing a lot. I graduated from public high school in 1938. My girlfriends and I went dancing in our four-inch heels in Harlem. I loved to dance. Mine was a fantastic, colorful life! The Apollo was where I saw Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. I saw Babe Ruth at Ebbett's Field for fifty cents a game. We could also see the games from our rooftop. I was attracted to the dark, good-looking boys. Every time I brought one home my mother was afraid he wasn't of our faith. Finally, I met a suitable man. His name was Roy Fischer. He had a red Oldsmobile. I was impressed. My mother was satisfied. Roy and I married on March 15, 1941. We had three children Ð Judy, Ileene and Barry. In addition to working in sales in department stores, I volunteered for Cancer Care, National Council of Jewish Women, my temple's sisterhood and a hospital gift shop, until I was 80. This volunteering was an important part of my life. When my husband was 66 years old he had a stroke and died. He had earlier told me to never mourn for him. We had watched my mother mourn in black for a year and she allowed no radio in the house. So, following Roy's wishes I wore a white suit and mourned him in my heart. Being that my son works at Frostburg State University, I came to visit Frostburg twice a year to see Barry's dance concerts. Barry encouraged me to move from New York to Frostburg Heights in 2001. It was quite a change for me. I've had a good life and enjoy being here. I love all the activities and wonderful nursing staff at St. Vincent de Paul Nursing Facility. Their caring helps me stay healthy.

Surviving children are Barry Fischer, LaVale, Ileene Lampert, Golden Beach, Fla., and Judy Siegel, Spring Valley, N.Y.; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, at the family's request, donations are being received at Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, 316 E. 63rd St. NYC, NY 10021 (in honor of the Millie Fischer Dance Scholarship) or Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greater Cumberland, 211 S. Lee St., Cumberland, MD 21502.

There will be no visitation or funeral services.

The Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., 108 Virginia Ave., Cumberland, is handling the arrangements.

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