Frieda Wakschlag Aaron Concentration Camp Survivor
Born January 4, 1928, she came to the United States in 1947 as an uneducated teenager to start a new life.
She received her high school degree and then went on to graduate Brooklyn College, Phi Beta Kappa, and receive 2 Masters degrees and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center.
Aaron is the author of “Bearing the Unbearable,” a book of Holocaust poems written by victims and survivors in Yiddish and Polish, and has published her own poetry and articles throughout the world. She was a fighter for peace and freedom and active in the peace and civil rights movements.
In 1961, she and Coretta Scott King, along with a contingent of 48 other notable women, went with the Women’s Strike for Peace to represent the United States at the World Peace Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She was a founder of WAGRO, the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Organization.
Family members said her four grandchildren, Noah, Adam, Michelle and Brian, who are the third generation Holocaust survivors, were her “greatest joy.” She is also survived by her husband, Sol, her daughters, Fern Aaron Zagor and Stephanie Glaser, and her sister Estelle Laughlin.
Funeral Home Founder
Florence Benson, an Inwood resident for 40 years, died May 19. She was 97.
Born in Camdem, South Carolina on November 19, 1907, Benson was schooled at Mather Academy and Livingston College. She taught elementary school in rural South Carolina before relocating to Brooklyn.
In 1949, she moved to Inwood where she founded the Florence Benson Funeral Home. Benson was the director there for 40 years and retired to New Jersey in 1989.
She was a member of the Brooklyn and Long Island Funeral Directors Association; trustee and mother of Varick Memorial AME Zion Church of Brooklyn; and active in the Inwood Tent #106, Women’s Industrial League, Five Towns Community Center and National Council of Negro Women.
Benson was preceded in death by her parents, Nannie and Reuben Benson; and sisters, Thelma Furcrom and Ethel Washington.
She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Brown of Elizabeth, New Jersey; nieces, Marsha Jones of Inwood, Vanessa Brown of Elizabeth, NJ and Rose Harris of Inwood.
Visitation was held at Varick Memorial AME Zion Church in Brooklyn. Services were officiated by Rev. Calvin B. Marshall. Interment was at Rockville Cemetery in Lynbrook, Long Island.
James M. Brady
Real Estate Broker
James M. Brady, a lifelong Rockaway resident, died May 31, 2005.
Born in Jamaica, New York, Brady worked as a real estate broker.
He is survived by his daughter, Mary V. Brady; son, Kevin McQuillen; and grandson, John Patrick Donelan.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O’Connor Funeral Home. Visitation will be held on Friday, June 3, from 2-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.
Disposition was kept private.
Zettie M. Collins
Zettie M. Collins, a Rockaway resident for nearly 40 years, died May 22. She was 78.
Born on July 11, 1926 in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Collins was on the usher board of Macedonia Baptist Church in Arverne.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Collins; son, Sidney Collins; and granddaughter, Crystal Collins.
She is survived by her son, Hilary Collins; sister, Catherine Newsome; grandchildren, Latasha Collins, Brittany Collins, Jeanette Riley and Charles Riley; great-grandchildren, Joseph Lee Collins, Winston Donte Collins and Shanetta Shoffner; brother-in-law, Frank Collins; sister-in-law, Fay Williams; and special friends, Reverend Evan D. Gray, Sr., Maggie Bryant, Octavia Blakely and Danny Lucas.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home. Visitation and services were held at Macedonia Baptist Church in Arverne. Interment was at Maple Grove Cemetery.
The family expressed special thanks to the Macedonia Baptist Church Usher Board.
Carolyn M. Ekbom
Carolyn M. Ekbom, a Rockaway resident for 20 years, died May 29.
Ekbom was a homemaker. She is survived by her husband, Charles Ekbom; son, Keith Ekbom; daughters, Dawn, Jennifer and Cheryl Ekbom; and grandson, Kevin Hill Jr.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O’Connor Funeral Home. Interment was kept private.
Broad Channel Resident
Margaret Mary (Peggy) Kimmins, a Broad Channel resident for 40 years, died May 29.
Kimmins was preceded in death by her husband, William G. Kimmins.
She is survived by her son, William P. Kimmins (Carol Sue); daughters, Sr. Margaret Kimmins, Mary Jane Kimmins and Suzanne Bilinski; grandchildren, William J. Kimmins, Kathleen (James) Wozniak, Kerry (John) Lawrence, Drew (Sara) Bilinski and Danielle Kimmins; and great-grandchildren Caroline and Ryan Wozniak and Ashley Lawrence.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Hillebrand Funeral Home. A Mass was held at St. Virgilius Church. Internment was at Cyprus Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Arthur F. Pavarini
Lost Life To Cancer
Arthur F. Pavarini, a graduate of Beach Channel High School and Rockaway resident for 15 years, died May 11 after a battle with cancer.
He is survived by his parents Diane and Bob Goldbach and Arthur F. Pavarani; sisters, Donna and Celeste; and brothers, Paul Pavarini, Stephen Goldbach and Robert Goldbach.
A Funeral Mass will be held on June 11 at St. Joseph’s Church in Croton Falls, New York at 11:30 a.m. A gathering will follow at the church hall.
Enid Thompson, a Rockaway resident for more than 40 years, died May 17. She was 71.
Born on May 11, 1934 in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, Thompson worked as a nurse at St. John’s Hospital. She was also a minister at First Church of God in Far Rockaway.
Thompson was preceded in death by her grandson, Derrick Thompson Jr.; and daughter-in-law Regina Thompson.
She is survived by Samuel (Luleta) Samms, Robert (Effie) Young, Sr., Richard (Claudette) Young, Derrick Thompson, Osbourne (Viviene) Thompson; daughter, Judith Thompson; siblings, Hugh, Nancy and Loretta; thirteen grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Cynthia.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home. Visitation was held at First Church of God in Christ in Far Rockaway. Interment was at All Saints Cemetery in Great Neck, New York.
Luz H. Torres
Luz H. Torres, a Rockaway resident for nearly 30 years, died May 31.
Torres, who was born in Puerto Rico, was a homemaker.
She is survived by her husband, Jose Torres; son, Marcos Diaz; brother, Antonio Matos; and sisters, Carmen Rodriguez and Laura Matos.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O’Connor Funeral Home. A Mass was celebrated at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea. Interment was at Lutheran/All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village.