Miriam ShapiroFor anyone that doesn’t know, my grandmother Miriam Shapiro passed away last week. She and my grandfather, Sam Shapiro, have always been an inspiration to me. They were amazing people. For archival purposes, here is her obituary, photo, and the contents of the speech that I gave at her funeral.

Deseret Morning News Obituary

Contents of Obituary:

Miriam Shapiro

Miriam O. Shapiro 1918 ~ 2007 Our beloved mother, Miriam Oliner Shapiro, born March 14, 1918, died Jan. 3, 2007 at St. Joseph’s Villa, where she had been a resident for the past eight and a half years. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the daughter of Jake and Rose Oliner. Miriam graduated from South High School in 1935 and was a graduate of the Class of 1939 Holy Cross School of Nursing. After graduation she practiced nursing at the Fort Douglas Hospital during World War II. On June 29, 1941, Miriam married the love of her life, Sam Shapiro. They both enjoyed their lives together for 61 years. Sam and Miriam were owners and worked together for 40 years at the Eagle Company, a successful commercial uniform and bowling shirt distributorship. After retirement from the Eagle Company, Miriam volunteered as a Pink Lady at the Salt Lake Regional Medical Center where she was known as the “Cookie Lady” for providing her wonderful homemade chocolate chip cookies to the doctors, nurses and staff and also to her family, neighbors and friends. Miriam is survived by her children, Patti Shapiro, Denver, CO, Heidi (Richard) Weinsoft, Salt Lake City, UT and Gary Shapiro, Jerome, AZ, her sister Frances (Kalman) Sherman, Hendersonville, NC, sister-in-law, Marion Sher, Salt Lake City, UT, eight grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by her husband, Sam. Miriam was a long standing member of Congregation Kol Ami. The family would like to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the countless nurses and caregivers on One East at St. Joseph’s Villa who so willingly and diligently provided wonderful care to our mother, Miriam. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon, Friday January 5th at Evans & Early Mortuary, 574 E. 100 So. Interment, Montefiore Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Congregation Kol Ami, 2425 Heritage Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, St. Joseph’s Villa, 451 Bishop Federal Lane, Salt Lake City, UT 84115 or charity of choice.
Published in the Deseret News on 1/5/2007.

My Funeral Speech:

I knew that today I would want to stand before our family and friends and try to share some of my thoughts, and allow you to see Miriam through my eyes. At first, I was disappointed because the only memories that floated to the surface were archetypal grandmotherly images that seemed a little too cliché.

But after some reflection, I realize that not everyone is so fortunate. I took for granted this person who so effortlessly granted comfort, and warmth. I remember the bottomless candy dishes, how she would take me to the department store downtown and get me a balloon, the butterfly shaped jell-o with fruit cocktail I liked so much, and of course the cookies. No one ever stops talking about the cookies.

I know that for the rest of my life, I will always have those pleasant moments to reflect upon, and take comfort in; which is a legacy worth celebrating.

Today, i do not mourn the death of my grandmother, but take comfort in the knowledge that she has been reunited with Sam. May everyone be so lucky to have a person like Miriam in their lives, granting security and comfort in times of doubt, and knowing that they were loved unconditionally. Grandma, go now and begin your everlasting journey, and know that you will always be here with us, in our hearts and memories.