Vera M. Deckelbaum


On Feb. 6, Vera M. Deckelbaum, of Bethesda, died at age 88. Vera was predeceased by her adoring husband of 63 years, Ralph H. Deckelbaum. She was the loving mother of Suzanne Feinstein (Michael) and Lori Hoyland (Dean). She was the cherished grandmother and future grandmother to Jeremy Cytryn (fiancé Talya Seidman), Zachary Cytryn (fiancé Arielle Herzberg), Marissa Cytryn and Meryl Feinstein (Adam Steene). She was the eldest sibling of Aida Davis, the late Manny Mankowski and the late Mary Hewitt.

Vera was born in Jerusalem and emigrated to the United States in 1947. She lived in New Jersey and then in the Seattle area, where she graduated from the University of Washington with a pharmacy degree. She moved to Washington, D.C., in 1957 to work as a pharmacist and where she met her future husband and love of her life, Ralph, on a blind date.

Vera volunteered with Israel Bonds, America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Friends of Tel Aviv University, Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Hadassah, Service Guild, Washington, DC, Cultural Alliance and the Red Cross.

She received the Louis D. Brandeis Award from the Zionist Organization of America for her dedication to Israel and preserving and strengthening the community. She and Ralph received the Hebrew Home’s Aunt Minnie Goldsmith Award for outstanding volunteer service to the community and the Jewish Social Service Agency President’s Award.

The family expresses gratitude for the wonderful care by JSSA Hospice and her compassionate and devoted caregiver, Karen Garcia.

Donations may be made to JSSA or to the Vera and Ralph Deckelbaum Music Endowment Fund at the Bender JCC of Greater Washington. Arrangements entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home.

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