October 31, 1927 – February 17, 2021
Tomas Figueras (born Nadelstecher) was born 10/31/1927 in Ushorod Hungary to Fritz and Aurelia Nadelstecher.
He had two brothers Laslo and Paul. His father was dentist. His brother Laslo was a child prodigy on the violin at the age of 3 and performed all over Europe in grand music halls. All of his family perished in the Holocaust. Tom was literally the only survivor. He was 16 when he went into the camps and was there for a year and was liberated on 04/15/1945 from Bergen Belsen. He was barely alive and thankfully was liberated 2 weeks before the war was officially over. He was liberated by the English and went to Sweden for 3 years to recover. He started working on ships and became a sailor. He subsequently stopped in port in Venezuela. One day while on leave from his ship in Caracus, he runs into a friend from his home town. His friend tells him there is great prosperity in Venezuela (and there was at the time, not like now). So my Dad jumps ship and becomes a telegraph operator. In his early 20’s he has a Venezuelan family adopt him in order to get their last name (Figueras) and to somewhat hide the fact that he was jewish as he lived in fear that the Nazi’s would find him. It is there that he meets my mother who was an American teaching English to US military students. They marry and move back to the US. My father comes to the U. S. and they settle in NY. Both working in NYC. About 5 years after they marry, my sister Cathy was born and me about a year later. They divorce when I was about age 5 but my father works and goes to school at the same time and gets a degree in Business Administration. Throughout his life he worked for multiple Telecommunication companies and traveled to over a 100 countries. He was very successful in business. His change in last name served him well as he traveled to many Arab countries and did millions of dollars in business with them all the while his passport said he was a Catholic from Venezuela. He spoke 11 languages fluently and about another 4, what we would still think is fluently but he said, just so-so. He got masters degrees in Italian and romance languages after he retired. He married his 2nd wife “the love of his life” Mayann Williamson on 05/29/2008. They have lived together here in Las Vegas happily until his recent fall and subsequent death. They traveled themselves in retirement to 50 countries and have many happy memories/stories and Pictures to share. He is preceded in death by his Daughter Cathy 02/21/1999 who sadly died of breast cancer at the young age of 33. Tom did everything he could to try and save her including taking her to Germany for some alternative treatment and paying out of pocket (Insurance would not pay because it was considered experimental). But sadly, she succumbed to the disease. He is survived by his wife Mayann Williamson, his daughter Susan Lietzke (husband Bill), 2 grandchildren Alec Rounds and Ethan Rounds and 3 Step Children, Barbara Padgett, Rick Williamson, Robin. He was passionate about being a Holocaust survivor and would talk about it to anyone that would listen. He spoke at my boys’ middle school and offered first hand stories of what he went through which I hope will forever impact them. He was 93 when he died and I think can honestly say he live a very full life. He was incredibly generous to those he knew and loved. He also donated to the Nazi War Hunters as he had a passion for making sure there were none that got away.
Sunday, February 21, 2021