Florence Gladys Schiffman
October 26, 1928 – October 22, 2018
SCHIFFMAN, FLORENCE MILLER, 90, passed away on Monday, October 22, 2018. Before moving to Rhode Island in 2001, she was a pillar of the Smithtown, NY community with her beloved husband, the late Dr. Zachary Schiffman. Florence was born in Brooklyn, NY to Paul and Etta (Weinberger) Miller.
She received a Bachelor of Arts, Phi Beta Kappa, from Hunter College and a Certificate of Design from Pratt Institute. Florence started her interior design career in the early 1950s in New York City and in Dallas, TX. She opened her own design firm on Long Island in the 1960s.
Florence next devoted herself to a career in social work by earning a master’s degree at SUNY Stony Brook University. She liked to say that she transitioned from designing the exterior of people’s lives to designing their interiors. She worked as a social worker at the DeSisto School, Lake Grove School, and Queens College, and she led a diversity training program on Long Island. She also had her own private practice.
Florence lived a life rich with volunteer experiences, including chairing the American Cancer Society Ball, volunteering at Temple Beth Sholom in Smithtown, counseling troubled teens, and mentoring students in Providence public schools, for which she was named Volunteer of the Year. She was a life-long lover of bridge, art, and travel.
Florence is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Mara Schiffman and Keith Laskin, Jamie Waldman and Keith Waldman, Tina Odessa and David Odessa, and Ted Lee; and grandchildren, Zachary and Jeremy Laskin, Zoe, Emma, and Benjamin Waldman, and Zachary Odessa. Florence was predeceased by her daughter, Beth Schiffman Lee, and her sister, Rhoda Shapiro.
Graveside services were held on Wednesday, October 24 on Long Island. Contributions in Florence’s memory may be made to Tockwotton on the Waterfront, East Providence; Hope Hospice and Palliative Care, Providence; or the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Graveside Service Wednesday, October 24, 2018