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 always.

by Kai Bravo

Tile Heritage Foundation Tribute

2007 Gregg Fleishman