Obituary of Alice Guttman
Los Angeles, CA - Formerly of Monticello, NY
Rest in peace, Alice Guttman. You will always be remembered for your kindness, dedication, advocacy, common sense, love of nature, protection of your family, and your enduring love. Alice (fondly known as Ali) Guttman passed away peacefully at age 96 ½. Alice Guttman, nee Fani Feldman was born in Mezokossony, Hungary to Isadore Feldman and Ilonka Rosenstein. She was born on October 14, 1926 and passed away on April 28th, 2023.
Before Alice was born, Isadore had a large farm in Nagy Dobron. Her father and mother moved to Mezokossony after Hungarian Communists took his land, which is where Alice was born.. Isador oversaw the vineyards and the workers. Alice had a wonderful childhood in Hungary.
She was a bright, spirited child, and a bit mischievous. She always spoke of the games she played with her two sisters, Zuzanna and Edith, as well as time spent with her cousin, Tibi. Ali was devoted to her mother and father and loved school, especially the social aspect. She was also very athletic and enjoyed gymnastics and performing in plays.
Starting in her mid-teens, Alice lived through one of the darkest periods in human history and overcame unimaginable challenges to build a life of meaning and purpose. She is a symbol of resilience and hope, and her life was a testament to the strength of the human spirit. She fought and protected us all. The three sisters stuck together through thick and thin, from the Munkacs ghetto, to a brick factory run by the German SS, to the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camp and the Kurcbach slave labor camp. The three sisters worked and ultimately survived.Their beloved mother, Ilonka, was selected for the gas chamber.
Near the end of the War, as Allied soldiers approached, the three sisters were moved away from the Auschwitz area. They were forced on a “death march” to the Gross Rosen concentration camp, which took eight days with no shelter and no food. Once again, the three sisters were regrouped and went through Weimar, Germany to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
The three sisters were liberated by English soldiers and were taken to Sweden with the assistance of the Red Cross to get healthy, learn the language, and gain a skill.
After getting healthy the three beautiful Feldman girls took Sweden by storm. They worked, went out, dated and enjoyed parties.
During this time, the sisters found out their father, Isador, survived the war. Susie (which is what Zuzanna went by) went back to Hungary to bring him to Sweden. However, Isador had died shortly after liberation. Susie then tried to return to Sweden, but the Communists had taken over and closed the borders, so she escaped to Israel.
Alice had a variety of jobs, including working in an emulsion photographic factory. The Feldman girls shared an apartment in downtown Stockholm on Syea Vagen street with fellow Hungarians, Dr. Endre Balazs, Eva Balazs, and their newborn Marianne.
And – oh what parties they had – full of song and dance! Dr Balazs and family later moved to Boston, MA and they sponsored Ali and Edith to come and live in America.
Once again the two Feldman sisters, Edith and Alice, took America by storm! Ali worked for Dr. Endre Balazs as an eye research assistant at the Retina Foundation in Boston. She was very proud of this job and talked about it up until her death.
By chance Dr. Béla (Adalbert Béla) Guttman, who was also Hungarian and also survived the war) overheard the two sisters chatting away in Hungarian at a movie theater and he was amazed to find other Hungarians in Boston. Needless to say, Dr. Béla Guttman had to meet the two sisters. Ali and Béla soon began dating and were married in 1957 at a temple in Newton, MA.
The couple moved to Riverdale, NY. Their daughter Carol Guttman was born in 1958 and soon after, their son George was born in 1959. Alice thoroughly enjoyed her role as wife, mother, homemaker and Hungarian chef! ‘These were the happiest days of my life’, she said. Through her meals she expressed her love and care. She took great pride in her home.
In 1970, Dr Béla Guttman’s work as a pathologist took him to Monticello, NY. Once again, Alice created a loving, safe, secure environment for her children and husband. As always, she created new friendships, maintained her old friends and kept up with all the relatives on both sides of the family. The family loved to travel and take beach vacations.
Starting in the 1990s the Guttmans started living in Florida a little more each winter, until they had two homes, one in Monticello, New York and one in Boynton Beach, Florida.. Ali's dear husband Béla passed away in 2010.
In 2016 Ali moved to California to continue to be in the warmer climates and be close to son, George, at FountainView at Playa Vista. There, she advocated for herself and others, always looking out for the people that helped with her daily care, from the dining room staff and later to all the aides that assisted her in the last few years of her life.
Alice Guttman, the protector, the advocate, living life to the fullest, did not speak to her children about her Holocaust experience until Carol and George were much older. However, later in life she did speak of the horrors and did not want anyone to forget what she, her family, and so many people went through.
Her story of resilience and love lives on through her children, grandchildren, cousins, and friends.
A funeral service will be held on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 11:00am at the Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home, 388 Broadway Monticello NY 12701. Burial will immediately follow at the Temple Sholom Cemetery, Southwoods Road, Monticello. Services will be lived streamed by visiting Alice's memorial page on the funeral home website and clicking Live Stream & Recording in the left column.
The family invites everyone back to Bernie's Holiday Restaurant, 277 Rock Hill Dr, Rock Hill, NY 12775 for a gathering to further celebrate Alice's life immediately following the interment.
The family also invites everyone to sit shiva at 4 Bradford Rd, Forestburgh, NY 12777 on Monday and/or Tuesday between 3 and 5PM. They would also like to invite guests to come and visit outside of shiva sitting at 4 Bradford Road in Forestburg, NY, If you don’t already have Carol Guttman-Finnie’s email/phone number, please contact the funeral home to get the contact information.
Those who would like to honor Alice’s life and legacy may donate to Temple Sholom, PO Box 664, Monticello, New York 12701
Arrangements are honorably entrusted to the Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home - 845-794-7474 or www.josephngarlickfuneralhome.com.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Alice Guttman, please visit our Tree Store