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Celebrating the Life of

Emily Braunstein

Jan 26, 1950 - Jan 6, 2021


Celebrating the Life of

Emily Braunstein

Jan 26, 1950 - Jan 6, 2021

The Virtual Celebration of Life for 

Emily Braunstein

Tuesday January 26, 2021



Emily was born on January 26, 1950 to Eva and Morty Israel, who already had a 3-year-old daughter.  Nancy was excited to have a new baby to take care of, assuming that new babies were similar to her doll collection.  It was both an exciting time and a difficult time.  The family was living in a 2- bedroom apartment and were lucky to have it.  The new families of post war New York were desperate for a place to live, and there was a serious housing shortage.

The family survived in that apartment for 3 years, during which time Eva learned to drive.  It was celebrated by all and she joined the upcoming suburban sprawl a short time later. Morty fought hard to NOT move to the suburbs.  He was a “city guy” and remained so for the rest of his life.  But sacrifices needed to be made for the sake of the family, and Morty was finally convinced that he had no choice!  They drove to Long Island every weekend to see the many choices of homes to buy and towns to live in. 

Eva’s good friend from the apartment years had recently bought a house in a town called East Meadow and she highly encouraged the family to buy a house within blocks of her.  So, a new house was purchased on the G.I. Bill, and that house was a huge part of Emily’s life.

There were no trees on the street at the time and even the lawns were brown, but within a few years the trees grew thick and high and shaded the street to accommodate the many, many children that played there.  Playing started early and ended late when it was not a school day.  Emily had a large number of playmates from day one, as did Nancy.  It was a Baby Boomer paradise.  No playdates, no arrangements……. Just walk outside and join whatever game was going on.  It was a wonderful childhood.

Both Emily and Nancy learned over time how very lucky they were to be born to Eva and Morty.  They were supportive, loving, funny and enjoyed spoiling their daughters.  There were restaurants, sleep away camps, vacations and days at the beach.  There was a memorable trip to Los Angeles to visit mom’s brother and sister, Jack and Anita, and getting to know our cousins.  We always had the greatest love for these families.  It was our first airplane trip and Emily, who was 5 was fascinated by running up and down the aisle of the plane.  The expression used often to Emily was, “You’re just lucky that you’re so cute, or……”’

Emily grew into a beautiful, kind, sweet and cute teenager, then adult.  She had a brief marriage in her early 20’s which made her grow up quickly, after which she moved to NYC and into an apartment just blocks from where her parents now lived.  Her sister left NY around that time to move to Los Angeles.  Nancy easily slipped into her aunt Anita’s and her uncle Jack’s families, who always treated her like an extra daughter.  That decade was a happy one for the entire family, until the day in 1979 when mom’s beloved brother and our beloved uncle was killed in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip.  The loss was so huge and so painful for all of us, and now, many years later, Emily and Nancy still spoke of that huge loss.


In 1982 there were 2 weddings.  Emily married Larry Braunstein and Nancy married Robert Valene.  The weddings were only one month apart.  A new family was then created.  The two sons-in-laws quickly came to adore their new in-laws.  Both doted on them, helped them in their older age with anything they needed.  What the in-laws couldn’t have guessed then was that they would become “double grandparents” within a few years.

Nancy and her new husband moved back to NY in 1985 and in 1987 they bought a house in the suburbs and Nancy found out she was pregnant the day before closing on the house.  That house was a family gathering place for the next few years until Emily and Larry also bought a house in the suburbs.  The day in 1988 when Nancy was in the hospital after having her son Josh, Emily came to her bedside to inform her that SHE was now pregnant.  The 2 babies would be just 7 months apart and grew up together like brothers, with many sleepovers, BBQs and holiday dinners.  Both sons would be named after the beloved Uncle Jack Stone.  Nancy had Josh and Emily had Jordan.

While Jordan was young Emily worked on making her house a home.  She supervised many serious remodeling projects, including a massive re-design of the kitchen and family room.  It would turn out to be a huge success and Emily was intensely proud…. and rightfully so.  She was a fantastic mother and her life was intertwined with her son’s education and his sports participation.  She was so proud of Jordan’s excellence in the sports he participated in. He was a Black Belt in Karate at the age of 8.    Later he excelled at both baseball and tennis.  In his teens he attended the prestigious tennis school in Florida owned by Chrissie Evert. Though Jordan found he was not interested in being a tennis pro, it was a great experience for him.  It also allowed Emily to be in Florida during the few years that Nancy lived there.  The two sisters were back together again.

Emily’s life was focused on being a mom to Jordan.  She loved every minute she spent with him. She doted on him from the time of his birth to the end of her life.   

Morty Israel died in 2001, just 2 months before 9/11 after a long illness.   We were happy that he didn’t live to see his beloved city under attack.  He would have been devastated and crushed by these events. Eva Israel lived for 4 more years without him.  She passed away in 2005 after years of declining health. They lived long enough to see their 2 grandsons as very grown-up teens, which all were grateful for.  For the years since the death of their parents, Emily and Nancy would often talk about them.  They were huge parts of both lives.

Emily would visit Nancy regularly in Los Angeles.  Those visits were always fun and Nancy would take Emily all over and bring her into her circle of sister-friends that she had known for 40 years.  Emily made an amazing, wonderful and fun party in L.A. for Nancy’s “big birthday” in 2016.  She was extremely generous and genuinely loved making that party, which had about 15 friends at a luncheon at a lovely outdoor restaurant in Beverly Hills.  It was a memorable day. The picture of the two sisters at that party will be with Nancy forever.

Emily was a wonderful and true friend.  She had many friends that were with her for 40 years and some even longer.  They all have used the words “sweet, loving, generous, kind and always up for a good laugh.”  Her smile was infectious and she always had one ready for those she loved.  Let us all remember that smile, that infectious laugh, from this day forward.

Rest in peace beautiful mom, sister and friend.  So many people love you.

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