Shirley Aidekman-Kaye

Shirley Aidekman-Kaye

Shirley Aidekman-Kaye (Fishman), 96, of Delray Beach, Fla., died Oct. 19, 2019. She was born in Newark.

Following graduation from high school and through World War II Mrs. Aidekman-Kaye worked as a secretary at Phoenix Brass Co. in Newark. On Nov. 3, 1946, she married her first husband, Leo Halpern, who died a few months later. While he was ill, to make ends meet, she partnered with his cousin Lawrence and opened a laundromat in Union. Two of its customers, George and Irene Lieberberg, introduced her to Alex Aidekman, whom she married on June 5, 1949.

Providing Alex her savings from the laundromat to finance his first supermarket, Uniondale, in Union, she became the store’s secretary and bookkeeper. With the business’ success, Alex went on to co-found Wakefern, a supermarket cooperative trading under the ShopRite name, and later became chairman of Supermarkets General Corp., trading as Pathmark.

Among her many philanthropic and other endeavors in the community, she was involved in painting and sculpture; was a competitive golfer and Cedar Hill Country Club Women’s golf champion for several years; former president and continuing board member, New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts (formerly Summit Art Center); board member of Paper Mill Playhouse, Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation, and Women’s Philanthropy, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ; president of Amio, Inc., a jewelry design and manufacturing company; and trustee, Tufts University.

Mrs. Aidekman-Kaye and her husband’s philanthropy included the Aidekman Arts Center at Tufts University, The Aidekman Campus of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, the Aidekman Research Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University, and The Aidekman Chair in Neurology at Mt. Sinai Medical School.

Predeceased by Alex Aidekman in 1990, and her husband of over nine years, Bennie Kaye, in December 2017, she is survived by two sons, Gary (Susan) and Kenneth (Ellen) Aidekman; a sister, Dorothy Chelnik Lebow; and five grandchildren.

Services were held Oct. 23 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.

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