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Ethel Rom Weston Safir

Ethel Rom Weston Safir, 100, died on 18 March 2017.

The Funeral was held at The Davidson/Hermelin Chapel at Clover Hill Park on Thursday, 23 March 2017 at 10:00 AM .

Rabbi Joseph Krakoff officiated. Interment at Clover Hill Park Cemetery.

Click for Directions for Cemetery

A lifelong resident of the Detroit-area, an active volunteer in community and Jewish organizations, and a business woman who broke the "glass ceiling" in the life insurance industry decades before the term was coined, Ethel R. Safir, 100, died at peace on March 18th. At the time of her death Mrs. Safir was in hospice care near the home of her son in Barrington, Ill.

Mrs. Safir was born on April 4, 1916, the youngest of three children of Russian immigrants Rafael and Vera Raskin Rom. Her father's delicatessen was a fixture in Detroit's old Twelfth Street neighborhood.

After graduating from Northern High School, Mrs. Safir worked as a legal stenographer for several Detroit law firms. In 1939, she married Allan L. Weston, an economist with the State of Michigan's Department of Revenue.

During her years of marriage to Allan, she was a member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood, participated in civil rights activities, served on the national board of the American Jewish Congress and was a vice president of its Women's Division. She especially cherished the charity work and bi-weekly contract bridge and Mahjong sessions of the Hadassah "minyan" club she helped found and of which she was the last surviving member. A devoted mother, Ethel was both a Cub Scout den mother and a Girl Scout Brownie leader. In later years, Ethel was a docent at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills. Mr. Weston died unexpectedly in 1956, leaving his widow and three young children.

Following Allan's death, with her pre-marital stenography work as her only job experience, Ethel applied for a secretarial position at a new Detroit agency for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. The head of the agency, Ruben Gold, was so impressed with Ethel that he hired her - not as a secretary, but as the company's first female sales agent - an act for which he was chastised severely by the chairman of the board of Mass Mutual.

Within two years of her hire, Ethel was named the company's "Man of the Year," and was pictured on the cover of the employee magazine. She went on to a successful career in life insurance and estate planning - well into her 70s, before retiring from the business.

In 1964, Ethel married Benjamin J. Safir, a prominent Detroit civil rights attorney, at Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, where she was a Life Member. Mr. Safir died in 1991.

Mrs. Safir is survived by her three children, Lloyd H. Weston (Linda) of Hoffman Estates, Ill., Merle Weston Fajans (Michael) of Berkeley, Calif., and Rafael R. Weston (Carol Redding) of Alamosa, Colo.; nine grandchildren, Deborah Fajans, Dr. Andrea Ferrari (Dr. Louis), Avriel Oconnor (Jay), Pe'erlli Reynolds (Brent), Arit Shumway (Joseph), Dr. Justin Ortiz (Kaycee Gilmore), Leia Flure (Gavin), Shira Weston and Arielle Weston; and nine great-grandchildren, Anthon, Antonio, Brylan, Camelia, Eden, Eelani, Emerson, Fanny and Nora. Mrs. Safir's brothers, Norman Rom and Dr. Jack Rom proceeded her in death.

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Ethel Rom Weston Safir may do so by making a contribution to:

Hadassah-Greater Detroit Chapter
5030 Orchard Lake Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48323
Click to Visit Charity Website

American Jewish Congress
18 East 84th Street
New York City, NY 10028
Click to Visit Charity Website

Holocaust Memorial Center
28123 Orchard Lake Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Click to Visit Charity Website

Alzheimer's Association - Greater Michigan Chapter
25200 Telegraph Road, Suite 100
Southfield, MI 48033
Click to Visit Charity Website

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