Isidore Petersile, 94, of Hallandale Beach, Fla., passed away peacefully on July 19, 2018, at Memorial Regional South Hospital’s Seasons Hospice in Hollywood, Fla. He was born on Feb. 17, 1924, in Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland. As the sole Holocaust survivor of his immediate family, he immigrated to the United States in 1949. There he met his wife, Eva Weiss Petersile, who predeceased him after a 58-year loving marriage. They lived in Irvington, N.J., before retiring to Florida 25 years ago.
He supported his condominium’s homeowners’ association as its president for five years, using his electrician and construction manager skills to oversee major building maintenance issues. During his last 20 years, Isidore embraced the warmth and spirituality of the Chabad Ocean Drive in Hallandale Beach, Fla., and served as the congregation’s gabbi. He also served as a guest speaker for the Miami-Dade County School System’s annual Student Awareness Day program for prejudice reduction and anti-bullying. He enjoyed describing his childhood life at roundtable conversations with high school students there, and how he endured and survived the Holocaust.
He leaves behind four children, Elaine Shapow (Michael), Marilyn Bellis (Frank), Diane Miller (Charles), and David Petersile (Joyce); grandchildren, Eric Shapow (Angela), Stefanie Draisen (Howard), Mark Bellis (Meggie), Daniel Bellis (JulieAnn), Richard Bellis, Matthew Petersile (Aubrey), Marissa Petersile, and Lee Miller; great-grandchildren, Erik, Simon, Ryan, Alexander, and Micah; and sister-in-law, Elsa Freundlich.
If a single word could define Isidore, it would be a tzadik—a wise, righteous, and respected man. Everyone with whom he interacted considered him to be a special man with a kind and gentle manner, causing, in turn, their love and respect of him. He will be missed for his positive, pragmatic approach to life, captivating smile, and sincere compassion. A graveside service was held on July 24 at King Solomon Cemetery in Clifton, N.J., with Rabbi Jay Kornsgold of Beth El Synagogue of East Windsor, N.J., officiating. Donations in his honor can be made to Chabad Ocean Drive, 7 Seacrest Pkwy., Hollywood, Fla. 33019.