December 14, 1905February 8, 2012

Vera Baram Mirkin 1905-2012

Where do you begin when a woman has lived 106 years. You think about what she has seen and all the changes made in the world.

Born on December 14, 1905 in Kiev, Ukraine Vera lived a privileged life. She was born to a fashion designer and a master wood worker. She and her two brothers were tutored in French and music. Vera became a very accomplished pianist. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, being part of the upper class, Vera’s life changed. Her father was set to prison in Latvia. Her mother lost her fashion house business. She and her brothers were forbidden to attend school and their 9 room home was divided by the Communists and they now lived in 1 room with a communal kitchen and bathroom. In 1921, on the pretext of going to the country to visit friends, they made their way to Riga, Latvia. In Riga, Vera’s father paid his way out of prison and went to the American Consulate to get passports to America. Vera doesn’t speak of the years 1921-1923 either because she can’t remember or she chooses not to remember. In 1923 the family boarded the ship, King Arthur, in Germany and sailed to Boston.

The family settled near relatives in the Boston area. Her father for work in the woodworking and upholstery business and ultimately bought his own shop and worked with his son. Vera went to work teaching piano. Vera married Mitchel Mirkin in 1931. Living in Brookline, MA., she was active in the Eastern Starr becoming Grand Matron; the Mass. Federation of Music; and was the president of Sisterhood at Temple Beth Zion. She volunteered at the Shriner Hospital’s burn unit and at Brookline high school tutoring Russian immigrants. Vera worked in the Insurance business as a notary. When her children started their careers she took in foreign students who were attending local colleges. Some of those students still keep in touch with her. Her home was always open to anyone in need. After her husband’s death she traveled to Kiev and Israel. In the late 90’s Vera moved to Silver Springs, Maryland to be close to her son Gabriel and daughter-in-law Diana. When her son told her they were moving to Florida she said “I have never been to Florida”. At 102 she moved to the Villages in Florida.

Vera is survived by Gabe & Diana Mirkin, Naomi & Jim Nesbitt, Barry & Rosemarie Mirkin, 8 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. She was called Vera, Mom, G.G. and Grandma. By any name she was truly a class act. Vera was a very stately woman with a dramatic flare. We will miss her presence. Funeral Services will be held on (Today) Friday, February 10, 2012 at 2:00pm at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 1668 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445. Interment will follow at Koretz Cemetery, Baker St, W. Roxbury. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Congregation Sinai of San Jose, Building Fund, 1532 Willowbrae Ave, San Jose, CA 95125.

Stanetsky Memorial Chapels 617-232-9300


  • Funeral Service Friday, February 10, 2012


have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


February 10, 2012

To Vera's Family,

I remember Vera and Mitch as I first met them at Eastern Star in 1961, over 50 years ago. My late husband Paul and I were line officers with Vera and Mitch and enjoyed their company for many years. I remember going to their house and heard Vera play the piano....she was wonderful and such a vibrant person. I lost track of all the people from those years so long ago but still have such meaningful memories of the good times. I now live in the quiet corner of CT and come to the Boston area to visit my children. I wish you all happy memories of Vera and her lifetime achievements.

Linda Lofchie Simons

Malcolm Alter

February 10, 2012

Dear Family,

Please accept my condolences on Vera's passing. I personally did not know her, but her name was a household name in my home while I was growing up. My late mother, Dora Alter, known as Dot, was also a worthy matron in the same Eastern Star chapter. My mother would be 105 if she were still alive. It sounds like Vera had a very fulfilling and successful life.


Malcolm Alter