Shirley Metzenbaum (nee Turoff) born Feb. 21, 1923, passed away May 24, 2019.
Adored wife of Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum; incredible mother of Barbara, Susan (Hyatt), Shelley and Amy; beloved mother-in-law of John Sherwood, Joel Hyatt, Steven Kelman, and Joel Yanowitz; cherished grandmother of Sara Yanowitz, Jody Kelman, Jared Hyatt, Michael Sherwood, Zachary Hyatt, Leora Kelman, Alec Sherwood, and Jason and Jordan Yanowitz; much valued sister of the late Daniel and Milton Turoff; and devoted daughter to the late Leonard and Mollie Turoff.
To know Shirley was to love her.
She didn’t like that one of the main ways people described her was to say she was so nice, but it was the truth. She was exceptionally kind and caring not just to her family and friends but also to the many young women for whom she was a nurturing, loving role model.
Many say that Shirley’s advertisement for the first winning campaign of her husband, Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum, won the election. She was, in truth, as warm, kind, and loving in life as that advertisement suggested.
Shirley had an amazing eye for great art, especially that of still-emerging artists, as well as an incredible ability to pass her love of art, craftsmanship and architecture on not only to her family and friends, but to the larger community.
She was an incredible gardener, who brought the world alive with exquisite color every season, even in the deep snows of Cleveland winters.
From the time they met, Shirley was a lifelong partner to and strategist with her husband in their quest for stronger consumer protection, civil rights and taking care of those in need.
She had a deep concern for the plight of Soviet Jewry and became deeply involved in aiding those wishing to leave. She was very involved with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and served as the triumvirate president of the Cleveland Women’s Committee of Brandeis University.
In addition, she served as a national board member of the United Cerebral Palsy Association and, when her children were young, a Girl Scout Leader and active PTA member. She was long active with the Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, and ORT.
In Washington, D.C., where she spent much time during the second part of her adult life, she was renowned among the Senate wives for her kindness and generosity of spirit.
Shirley co-lead a group of the Senate wives to the Soviet Union to help get persecuted Jews out of the USSR.
Closer to home, she was known as “Nana” to all of her grandchildren, whom she could often be found tickling with the famed “Nana necklace” — a piece of modern jewelry she turned into a delight to each grandchild.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. May 28 at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, 23737 Fairmount Blvd in Beachwood. Interment will be at Mayfield Cemetery.
Shiva will be observed following services and interment until 8 p.m. and from 3 to 8 p.m. May 29 at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple.
Friends who wish may contribute to the National Council of Jewish Women to support its work with children and/or refugees or the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.