“What a gal—what a life”
Esther Klores, a true one of a kind passed away on January 6 2020 at age 89. Esther was born on New Year’s Eve 1930 in Brooklyn NY to Russian immigrants Abraham and Freida Moliver. She was the youngest of five children and the last to pass away.
Esther faced enormous challenges growing up. Her mother suffered a debilitating illness soon after childbirth and was unable to return home. As a result, Esther and her sister Irene spent many years together living in foster homes—-some good—some not so good. The silver lining was the unparalleled bond of love formed by the two sisters—one that would last a lifetime.
Esther could talk. And talk. One day in 1947 while monopolizing the corner phone booth a handsome young Navy medic recently returned from fighting in the South Pacific told her to “hurry it up.” His name was Al Klores, and like Esther he came from a single parent household. They were married for 65 years until he passed away in 2014. The couple made their first home in a one-bedroom apartment in Brighton Beach. They slept on the living room sofa, and gave the bedroom to their two sons Danny and Bruce. Over her long life she gave everything she had to her children and grandchildren, most importantly her generosity of love and spirit, usually served with a side of her famous brisket. She had no maternal role model, and yet being a mother was her finest attribute.
Esther was unforgettable. She was smart, physically beautiful, had a unique style, loved Sinatra, was a great dancer and cook, and had an opinion about everything and everyone which she was never afraid to voice. Some of her favorite times were sitting on the beach kibitzing with her girlfriends. In one of these sessions she claimed to have discovered Barbara Streisand. She may have.
Esther was a working woman, by necessity and then later by choice. She taught herself how to type, got a job in Manhattan and rode the D train every day to the office where she did her work—and kept on talking. She was the life of her office—young folks came for advice—others for gossip—she was good at both.
The title “bubbe” was never more suited. Her five grandchildren: Molly, Steven, Jake, Sam and Luke remember her hugs, her laughter, her cooking and of course her stories. “Listen to me—-“she would say. And they did. Each of them knew that she loved them unconditionally and all of them are devastated to lose her.
Esther’s family and friends helped her heal her childhood scars. She and Al retired to a Florida community filled with all of their Brooklyn friends. This group, known as “The Friends Club” was so raucous as to inspire a New York Times piece. All of the friends had tough Great Depression upbringings—fought and lived through World War ll and lived with an urgency to enjoy every day as a result of these experiences.
Esther spent the last decade of her life in the Washington DC area. She cared for Al until his death, played mah jong, enjoyed her grandchildren, complained a bit more—and yes kept talking—mostly with a long cigarette hanging from her lower lip. The last two years of life were not always kind. She had however instilled so much love in others that it was easy for us to return her gift.
Esther Klores leaves her sons Dan (Abbe), Bruce (Irene), her special nephew Michael and her grandchildren.
The family would like to thank JSSA Hospice.
Graveside service will be held on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 1 p.m. at Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park, 14321 Comus Road, Clarksburg, MD 20871. Family will be receiving friends at the home of Irene and Bruce Klores on Wednesday, January 8th from 4 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to JSSA Hospice (jssa.org). Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
May she rest in peace.
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