Harriet Bresenoff

by | Nov 4, 2021 | Obituaries

Raleigh, North Carolina—Harriet R. Bresenoff, born on September 2, 1931, passed away October 25, 2021 surrounded by her loving children.

Sensing her deep loss, she left this earthly realm a mere 16 weeks after her beloved Morty. Harriet and Mort had 69 years of delight together. Harriet was born and spent her younger years in the hills of Scranton, Pa., the daughter of Frank Isaac and Rose Jacobs, a hard working family.

During Harriet’s teenage years the family moved to the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City where her parents opened The Rose dress shop. Harriet loved fabric and fashion and received an associate degree in retail marketing. As a young teen she was called upon to do the buying in the garment district for The Rose shop upon her father’s untimely heart attack. Under her mother’s tutelage, Harriet learned how to sew, and learned the cut, color, and quality of fashion. She showed by example throughout her life how to always look immaculate, stylish, and coiffed. Most vividly and impactful to her children was how to set a beautiful holiday table and the importance of Yiddishkeit in the home.

Harriet met her bashert, Mort, while he was in a CCNY college study group with her brother-in-law, Jerome R. Jacobs, of blessed memory. Harriet’s sister, Marilyn, of blessed memory, made an expedient introduction and a marriage quickly ensued. During the Korean War, when Mort was stationed as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy serving on a destroyer based out of Norfolk, Virginia, the young newlyweds made a huge decision to move away from the family in NYC to begin their own family in Norfolk. They spent 42 years there before retiring to Florida and then to Raleigh, N.C. to be close to their children and grandchildren.

Harriet and Mort had a rich social circle, and were inaugural members of a local investment club and the Amity social club. Harriet was involved either as member or leader in all the various Jewish organizations, including life member of Hadassah, ORT, Temple Israel Sisterhood, Jewish Federation, and Bonds for Israel. Harriet even stepped up to be the “House Mother” of her daughter Lisa’s Jewish teen sorority.

Harriet was a devoted daughter to her mother, Rose Jacobs, of blessed memory, who lived in Norfolk, and whom her grandchildren remember being part of weekday lunches, every family gathering and holidays.

Harriet’s grandchildren remember her for her love of speaking Yiddish and teaching them the “less Kosher” Yiddish words, showing them how to be mensches. Her love of family and her Jewish faith and how that faith looks, smells, and feels is Harriet’s most memorable legacy.

Harriet is survived by her children, Lisa (Steven) Feierstein and Marc Bresenoff; grandchildren Alison Bresenoff (Carla), Aaron (Sarah) Feierstein and Joshua (Mollie) Feierstein; and great grandsons Ethan and Theodore who all strive to follow in the Jewish heritage that was so close to their Bubbe’s heart.