Shirley Mae Alberstat


Shirley Mae Alberstat

Shirley Mae Alberstat (nee Fleishman)

Died June 7, 2021

Born August 26, 1923. Beloved wife of the late George Alberstat for 62 years. Loving mother of Terry Wesler, Susan (Allan) Cohen, and the late Mark Alberstat. Devoted grandmother of Michael Cohen. Dear daughter of the late Nathan and late Tillie Fleishman. Beloved sister of the late Lenard (late Sylvia) Fleishman and the late Alan (late Ethel) Fleishman, and dear sister-in-law of the late Sherry (late Harold) Lending and Irwin (Roselyn) Alberstat. Loving aunt of Craig Fleishman, Karen Brooks, the late Arnold (late Patti) Fleishman, the late Nancy Wade, Craig (Jan Miller) Lending, Carol (Norman) Newmark, and the late Scott Lending, and devoted great aunt of Julie (fiancé Joe Tillman), Samantha, and Eli Newmark.

Shirley was born in Granite City, IL. Her father immigrated from Lithuania, and through his business acumen, he owned a clothing store and was president of a bank in Granite City. The family moved to St. Louis in 1928, where they joined United Hebrew Congregation; Shirley remained an active member there for 93 years. The family later moved back to Granite City, where Shirley finished high school. She enrolled at University of Illinois in 1941 but was forced to return to St. Louis in 1942 when her mother became ill with cancer. She married, had two children (Terry and Susan), divorced, and then met George, who would be her loving companion from their marriage in 1952 until his death in 2014. Shirley and George raised Susan together, and had another son, Mark, who they lost to cancer in 1967. Shirley’s grief over the loss of Mark motivated her to return to college at UMSL, where she graduated with a degree in social work in 1972. She then worked for the state of Missouri as a social worker helping older adults, retiring in 1992. She continued helping those in need as a volunteer with Lights of the Jewish Special Needs for many years after her retirement. She also remained active in retirement with bridge groups, travel, and lifelong learning courses, among other activities.

Shirley was a strong presence up to the very end, and she will be deeply missed by her family and many friends. She was particularly close with her only grandchild, Michael, on whose birthday she died. Shirley was buried at United Hebrew Cemetery on June 9. The family would like to thank the caregivers from Senior Helpers who took care of Shirley in her final months. Donations to the Betty & Eugene Wolff Transportation Fund c/o United Hebrew Congregation, 13788 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO 63141, Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, 10950 Schuetz Road, St. Louis, MO 63146 or a charity of the giver’s choice.