Myrna Hillel

Myrna Hillel

03 March 1938
London, United Kingdom
14 August 2023
London, United Kingdom
Words by
Andy Hillel Son

The screen door slams, Myrni’s dress sways and like a vision, she dances across the porch as the radio plays.

There has been many a time over the last fifty something years when I have stood up, invariably with a glass of matured malt whisky in my hand and raised a toast to my Mum and Dad. Alas, not today.

These words for Mum are delivered on behalf of myself, my sister Ali, together with Harley and Tracy.

So where to start? Mum was born on 3 March 1938 and to save you doing the maths, Mum was and always will be twenty. nine. Mum was born to Annie and Neddy Nathan, six years after the arrival of Uncle Raymond and six years before Uncle Malcolm came along to wreak havoc and disturb the equilibrium. They lived in flat 12A Park House in Hackney, so numbered simply because Grandma didn’t like the number thirteen. Mum was educated at Cassland Road Grammar School and shortly thereafter found herself working as a secretary at a firm of West End accountants. It was in the plush offices of Auerbach Hope and Co. that Mum met Dad, the rising star of the practice and it was there that their romance first took shape.

After a suitable period of time they decided to take their relationship to the next level. Choosing to make their matrimonial home in Hendon they were married at Raleigh Close United Synagogue where the Hillel family have been integral members of the kehilla for close to sixty five years.

Family was everything

Ali was born in 1962 and I arrived in 1965. Our childhood was idyllic. Ali and I wanted for nothing.

Mum was an outstanding daughter to her parents and an exceptional parent to us, her children. Mum instilled in us both the values of decency and respect and, most importantly, the value of family. That was paramount. Family was everything.

To borrow a line from my bar mitzvah speech, although Mum would shout at me now and again, and again, and again, nothing was ever too much trouble for her.

Mum was blessed to enjoy seven grandchildren. A granddaughter, Katie and six grandsons, Josh, James and Max and Sam, Ben and Joseph. Mum embraced Lauren with the same love she gave to all her grandchildren and most recently was simply overjoyed at the arrival of her great grandson, Dylan. It is you guys who are her legacy and it is you guys who were the most important people in her life.

Mum was a true old school Eishes Chayil, a woman of valour. Far beyond pearls was her value. Dad’s heart trusted in her and he lacked no gain. She repaid his good, but never his harm, all the days of her life. That was Mum.

Mum’s sudden passing has left a void that, at this moment in time, seems impossible to fill but we can and we will be strengthened and comforted by the memories of a loving mother, grandmother and a loyal and trusted friend who will be sorely missed. Sleep well Mum.