Elsie Dorothy Shapiro Halpern, family matriarch, was born Aug. 20,
1922 and passed away March 3, 2023, in Clifton Park, N.Y., at the age
She was preceded in death by her parents Nathan and Bessie Mervis
Shapiro, husband Emanuel Halpern, brother and sister-in-law Sidney and
Phyllis Shapiro, sister and brother-in-law Charlotte and Harold Star,
and sister-in-law Lucille Shapiro.
She is survived by her brother Louis Shapiro of Phoenix, Ariz.; son
and daughter-in-law David and Karen Halpern of Akron, Ohio; daughter
Judy Halpern Klein of Clifton Park, N.Y.; granddaughters Abigail
Cymerman (Aron) of Akron, Ohio, and Amanda Connell (Patrick) of
Clifton Park, N.Y.; great-grandchildren Hayley Cymerman, Liam Connell,
Matthew Cymerman and Ethan Connell; and many Shapiro, Halpern and
Bigman nieces and nephews.
Elsie was born in Greensburg, Pa., into a vibrant and raucous family.
She graduated from Greensburg High School. At every gathering, stories
were shared, and laughter, love and good food were always plentiful.
She married her beloved Manny in 1942, and they moved to McKeesport,
Pa. She and Manny raised David and Judy and proudly saw them graduate
from McKeesport High School and Penn State University.
When her children were young, Elsie taught Sunday School and led Scout
troops. She was employed by Jaison's Department Store in downtown
McKeesport and then worked for Fashion Bug at Kennywood Mall in West
Mifflin, well into her 80s.
She was a member of the Tree of Life synagogue in McKeesport and
regularly attended services and Torah study there. She was also a
longtime season ticketholder at the McKeesport Little Theater.
Opinionated and well-read, Elsie survived surgeries and illnesses and
eventually moved to Upstate New York to be closer to family. She
always loved paper-crafting and often sent birthday cards to relatives
and friends that included origami shirts and pants crafted out of
dollar bills. Once she settled into Beverwyck Assisted Living in
Slingerlands, she started making origami figures out of Lipton Tea
wrappers, and before long, there were tea-wrapper figures hanging from
every walker, wheelchair and doorknob.
Elsie was an excellent baker, known in her younger days for her
delicious apple squares, and friends and family could always count on
her to arrive for a visit with a metal coffee can tucked under her
arm, filled to the brim with homemade almond-flavored pizzelles.
When working at Fashion Bug, she would walk the mall before her shift,
and while at Beverwyck, she enjoyed taking walks outside with her
walker. Even after she moved to Schuyler Ridge Nursing Home in Clifton
Park and was confined to a wheelchair, she would maneuver the
wheelchair with her feet through the hallways, waving at nurses and
other residents along the way.
Known by her relatives as "Ussie" and her great-grandchildren as "GG,"
Elsie was a force to be reckoned with, and she will be missed.
A funeral ceremony was held March 6, at the Independent Benevolent
Society Cemetery, 260 Fuller Road in Albany. Rabbi Ami Monson
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elsie (Shapiro) Halpern, please visit our floral store.