On July 27, 2018, Sipora Shiff (nee Ashkenasi), beloved wife of Clive Shiff; loving mother of Simon (Nikki) Shiff and Allon (Barbara Jean) Shiff; adored grandmother of Doron (Lauren) Shiff, Garreth (Taylor) Shiff, Madelaine Shiff and Ian Shiff. Sipora Shiff passed from life on this Earth after a period of declining health. She passed quietly in her sleep at the Keswick Health facility in the hands of a dedicated and capable staff who nursed her through the past month. Thus passed an Israeli patriot, loving wife, mother and a woman who adapted herself to three major patterns of life. Sipora strongly protected and nurtured her family and won the respect and considerable friendship of many who came in contact with her.
Sipora Ashkenasi was born in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1928 and grew up during the turbulent times that lead to Israeli freedom from the British mandate. She participated vigorously in the insurgency that lead to the British departure and sat in detention against her will for two years for her efforts. She commenced the second sector of her life in 1958 when she visited her sister who lived in what was Rhodesia, and when she met her husband-to be, Clive Shiff. They married in 1959, moved to Lusaka and soon became adapted to a change of life, bearing children and living in Africa. This was completely different from her previous life pattern and took a great deal of adaptation and re-adjustment. She managed to achieve all this and settled to be a mother, wife and member of the burgeoning society. She was greatly respected by friends in the Jewish community as well as non-jewish colleagues. She was a pillar of support to her husband who was involved with control of malaria and other parasitic diseases.
Her third readjustment came in 1979 when there were political disturbances in the country and it became clear that there would be little opportunity for the family if they remained. So they moved to California. This required a third adaptation, which again she managed with alacrity, keeping the family together and encouraging the development of her two sons. She was the glue for the family and the source of inspiration and support for her husband who was now adapting to the U.S. academic environment. In her lifetime she really did live in three different societies, something few have done with such a flair for change, adaptation and evolution. She was a unique person — we will miss her — but we all benefit from her focus and support. She will rest in peace.
Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Monday, July 30, at 10:30 a.m. Interment at King David Memorial Gardens, Falls Church, Virginia. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Keswick Multi-Care Center, 700 W. 40th St., Baltimore, MD 21211.