A very dear man has passed
on at 97 years of age. Mandel "Manny" Fleishman first
showed his happy smile in 1909 in Chicago. His father, Robert,
came to this country from Hungary in1888. His Mother Alice was
Romanian and joined Robert in Chicago
around 1898 along with her family. Manny was the fifth of six
children. He lived with his family in Chicago until he was fifteen
when the family moved to California.
Manny was always a hard worker.
He attended UCLA in the late 20's? Manny worked as a tile setter
from a very young age and then became a tile contractor, eventually
starting (and running) The Fleishman Tile Company. Manny was
also a big part of founding the Ceramic Tile Institute where
he taught the art, craft and business of tile. The industry deemed
him "The Dean of Tile".
During his long successful career
in tile, he also accomplished a lot in his personal life. Manny
was married twice and fathered five children. Two of his five,
Mark (Gregg's twin) and Dolly died young. His three sons that
survive him, Norman, Gregg and Roc, are all creative, intelligent
and successful in their own special ways. He was a loving, strong
Father to them all. Manny loved his daughter-in-laws, Diana (1941-2004)
and Cathy as his own. He also extended this acceptance to the
wives, husbands and mates of his grandchildren.
Manny was always sensible, yet
still kept his creative side alive through tile mosaics, making
sandals and ties out of leather, writing a bit of poetry and
other artistic endeavors.
Manny's second wife Phyllis
founded Play Mountain Place, a wonderful pioneering school in
its 58th year where children (and teachers and parents) have
the freedom to discover their unique strengths, express their
creativity and learn and grow in many ways. Manny built this
school with his own hands and was the quiet, solid ground behind
Phyllis' brilliance and commitment to her dream of the school.
Manny's good spirit and unwavering support was ever present and
felt and appreciated by the school community.
Manny was a great friend, grandpa
and a great grandpa, he was always kind, had a wonderful sense
of humor, a contagious laugh, liked to play games and made the
best buckwheat pancakes on Sundays. He had high integrity and
gave practical, sage advice from his own experience without being
the slightest bit pushy: "Walk everyday, eat right, don't
drink or smoke, work hard (start your own business if you can)
and don't ever tell lies, it's too much work to keep track of
them." Saro, Kai, Tom, Benn, Celia, Tiana & Ryan (grandkids)
and Corrina, Darcy, Sonora & Max (great grandkids) feel lucky
to have had such a good guy for their grandpa... they all called
him Manny. His long lasting, quality close friendships demonstrated
his loyal caring nature and good taste.
Years after Phyllis' passing
at the too young age of fifty-six, Manny had other close relationships.
His last, with Fredericka "Freddy" Cobey spanned over
twenty years. They were independent (living in different cities)
but very close. They traveled and enjoyed life together and she
was there for him as he got older gave him devoted care and companionship.
Through good times, hardship
and loss, Manny continued to bepositive, productive and a great
friend and family man. He was deeply loved by many. His memories
will be cherished. Manny will be missed and present in our hearts