Shirley Farkas Yonis, Sarah bat Rivkah, was born Oct. 8, 1928 and passed away July 31, 2020. Known as Mom, Nana Shirley and Aunt Shirley, she was the youngest child of Rebecca and Julius Siegel, immigrants to New York City from Romania. She was born in the Bronx and grew up during the 1930s and 1940s.
Always speaking fondly of her youth, she reminisced about the great entertainers, Coney Island and the closeness of family and friends who surrounded her.
Shirley was married to Arnold Farkas for 50 years, with whom she had four children, Madelyn, Joel, Diane and Jules. This little nucleus turned into a family of 18 with son-in-law Roger Merritt, and two daughters-in-law Jerry Farkas and Charlotte Farkas. Joyous new additions over the years included grandchildren Rebecca (Andy), Rachel and Aaron; Abby (Kyle); and, David (Melissa) and Ariel.
Nana Shirley welcomed five great-grandchildren into the world Lila, Zachary, Harley, Danielle and Shay. She relished every moment with her immediate family, as well as with her numerous nieces and nephews.
A steely-eyed tigress when she needed to be, Shirley’s strongest calling was being a mother. No challenge was too much when it came to supporting, caring for and raising her children. She had a special place in her heart for her grandchildren and was blessed to enjoy yet another generation in her great-grandchildren.
Twelve years after the family patriarch Arnold Farkas passed away in 1996, Shirley reunited with her childhood sweetheart Gen. David Yonis. A bride again at 79, she enjoyed nearly 10 years of marriage before the general’s passing in 2018. Shirley Farkas Yonis was remarkable in so many ways. A woman ahead of her time in her strength, independence and determination; a beauty into her 90s; a gracious hostess who always had a place at her table for a friend away from home or some fraternity boys in need of some good food or a night’s stay; and in her unique ability to forever be 39. Thank you for the memories, Mom. We miss you. May her memory be a blessing to those who knew and loved her.
Donations in Shirley Farkas Yonis’ memory may be made to Chabad of Cobb or to the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.