Donald Fifer

August 2, 1932August 29, 2021

Donald Fifer, age 89, of Brooklyn, New York passed away on Sunday, August 29, 2021. Donald was born August 2, 1932.

A graveside service for Donald will be held Friday, September 3, 2021 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM at Beth David Cemetery, 300 Elmont Road, Elmont, NY 11003.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Fifer family.


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  • Graveside Service

    Friday, September 3, 2021



Donald Fifer

have a memory or condolence to add?

Miryem-Khaye Seigel

September 4, 2021

I'm so sorry to hear of Donny's passing. I remember him as a smart, thoughtful and kind person. I remember seeing him at the Yiddish Artists and Friends Actors' Club and YIVO, and talking together in Yiddish - he shared his Yiddish name as Doyv-Ber. He told me about when he was on WEVD radio as a child, and his memories of Nahum Stutchkoff's radio programs. May his memory be for a blessing. Koved zayn ondenk.

marcia goldstein

September 3, 2021

Donny was affectionately called Donanyew by his mother. When one of his associates at Macy's heard what he thought was Donahue, he called him Mr. Donahue.

Donny's mom baked for Baba Gisha. Donny took 2 brown bags downstairs . One was garbage and one was baked goods. When Baba opened the bag it had garbage. He had thrown away the cookies. Baba laughed and said in Yiddish you brought garbage to the Baba??

Sandra Fifer

September 3, 2021

1946, L to R: Hesh/Arthur, Donny, Shike/Stanley

Sandra Fifer

September 3, 2021

The three brothers, L to R: Donny, Hesh/Arthur, Shike/Stanley.

Sandra Fifer

September 3, 2021

Donny was a personnel manager at Macy's for decades. After he retired he worked for several years as a census-taker. He would go around his neighborhood in Coney Island knocking on the doors of people who hadn't filled in the census. No one wanted to talk to a strange man and give personal information. But then through the closed door he'd address the occupant in Yiddish. The door would open wide, he'd be invited in for tea, or even a meal, and a long conversation in Yiddish. Donny told me that that was the most fattening job he'd ever had.

Julian Fifer

September 3, 2021

Uncle Donny was a patient listener and a supportive presence. He attended many of the early concerts I played with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and he generously extended a loan to help me buy a better cello bow to advance my career (I paid him back!). Perhaps my earliest memory is as a five year old, when I spent a rather sleepless night at the home of my grandparents, with Donny assigned to nighttime duties. He tried settling me down by letting me play for hours with a log cabin construction toy. Years later, recalling that sleepless night for him, too, Donny said he had been unable to decipher my repeated requests for a “tu-su.” Apparently I had not yet learned to pronounce “tissue.” We laughed as we considered whose trauma was greater. Humor and fun reigned at the annual seder, where he was the master of ceremonies and games at our unruly children’s table. I had the good fortune of visiting him at Macy’s, seeing him colorfully dressed in suit and tie in his professional role as a floor manager as he gracefully moved between the displays to help customers and introduce me to some of his colleagues. He was no longer merely Uncle Donny; I realized he was a master in several domains.

Gerry Fifer

September 2, 2021

I recall playing games with Donny in my grandparents' apartment when I was about eight years old. As the youngest uncle, he seemed closer to being a kid (albeit a mature one) who was always available for fun (especially at seders!). Later on I appreciated his being the family historian and authority on Yiddish.

I also remember visiting him, when I was a young adult, in his
personnel office at Macy's, which was on an employee-only floor
that I felt privileged to enter. And I still have several stylish
birthday presents that he gave me from Macy's.

Blossom Webley

September 1, 2021

Our sincere condolences to the Fifer's family on the passing of our dear uncle Donny. He once told one of his aide when I am not around he is the boss. Love, from caregiver Blossom and the Webley's family.

Sandra Fifer

September 1, 2021

Donny's parents, my grandparents, lived on the top floor of a walk-up in Brooklyn; I loved going there for seders. Donny was the adult assigned to hang out with us kids at the seders. By my count, there were at least 10 kids (2 from Victor, 1 from Bertha, 4 from Shike, and 3 from Hesh). The main seder for the adults was in the living-room, which was filled with borrowed folding tables. The kids and Donny were seated separately in a passage outside the kitchen. (All my memories are unverified.) I don't remember how Donny was able to keep us quiet during the ceremony. But once the food was served, we let loose. Donny always started the game "I went to Israel and I took...," and each kid had to name an item, and then the next kid had to repeat that plus add an item, until someone forgot. We'd add the silliest things -- garbage can, horse, space rocket -- and shriek with laughter. I'm surprised the adults in the other room could hear themselves talk. Donny made us laugh so much.

Mildred Laken-Feldstien

August 31, 2021

The Fifer Family and Laken Family were friends from about 1932.
They both moved to Neptune Ave when it opened.
Don was a good and helping friend.
My mother, Minnie Laken told me the Heshe and Sykee would
play ball in the driveway near our house on E 52nd St with my cousins, the Sardinsky boys.
Our deepest sympathy to the Fifer Family on the passing of
their brother, uncle.
Mildred Laken Feldstein & Esther Laken