Suzanne Rica “Suzi” Deston
Birth: February 26, 1931 in Basel, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland
Death: December 31, 2018 (age 87) in Victoria, B.C.
Suzi and Avi married in 1978.
Suzanne’s first husband was Mænni (Manny) Ruben (1922 – 1976) a violinist from Copengagen. She and Mænni married 03 August 1952 in Copenhagen. At the time of creating Suzanne’s Find-a-Grave Memorial, there was no known grave for Mænni .
Sharon Fitch, writing in the edition February 2019 of the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO newsletter says this of her:
Suzi was born Feb 26, 1931, in Basle Switzerland. She had a brother, Alfred (Freddi) 5 years her senior. Suzi grew up in a warm, close knit Orthodox Jewish family, whose roots were in Switzerland for several generations. As a teenager, Suzi attended Bnei Akiva Zionist youth groups. Fortunately, the Jewish community of Switzerland was shielded from the horrors of World War 2. One of Suzi’s favourite memories was meeting Dr Reuven Feuerstein, world renowned psychologist and educator, who was famous for his work with child survivors of the concentration camps after the War. (CHW supported his treatment centre in Israel and fundraised for him for years). They met when Suzi was 17 years old and he was 27, in 1948, when he went to Switzerland to recover from tuberculosis. While there he gave a presentation at a seminar of the Mizrachi Youth movement. It was there that they struck up a friendship.
In high school Suzi studied dress design, then worked as a designer. Suzi learned to play the cello and was a great lover of classical music. Suzi met her first husband, Manny Ruben, from Copenhagen, at a youth camp in Switzerland. They were married August 3, 1952, in Copenhagen. For the next 24 years Suzi worked at the George Jensen gift and book shop at the Copenhagen airport. She learned to speak several languages from her customers, with whom she got along famously. Sadly, Manny died in June 1976. Suzi decided to make Aliyah to Israel. While there in 1977, Suzi met Avi. Her plans changed. They married March 20, 1978, in Copenhagen. In 1980 Suzi and Avi moved to Umtata, Transkei, South Africa, where Avi was a professor of Applied Mathematics at University of Transkei. It was there that Suzi learned to speak Inhosa, the language of the Zulus. In 1993, Avi retired and they moved to Victoria. They became staunch members of Congregation Emanu-El. Suzi joined CHW, and a French lunch group. Suzi never missed a social occasion, lecture or concert. She had a keen and inquiring mind, and a prodigious memory. She was fluent in German, English, French, Danish, and also spoke Hebrew, Swedish, Russian, Inhosa, and who knows what others. Suzi kept in weekly phone touch with relatives and friends in USA, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa and Israel. She knew the names of every great niece-and-nephew in all generations. She never forgot a friend. Suzi’s beloved Avi died in July 2011. Suzi died December 31, 2018. May her memory be for a blessing.
Gravesite Details: Row J – Plot 2
פּ״נ (Here lies)
Professor Avi Deston
his name in Hebrew Pinchas b. Avraham v’Dvora
Oct. 15, 1926-July 25, 2011
Susanne Rica Deston
her name in Hebrew: Rivkah bat Naftali v’Ester
Feb. 26, 1931-Dec. 31, 2018
ת נ צ ב ה
abbreviation for Biblical quote: “May their soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.”
First Husband: Mænni (Manny) Ruben (1922 – 1976)
Second Husband: Avi Deston (1926-2011)