Mae Usem Averbook, 94

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mae Usem Averbook, age 94, passed away peacefully in her home in North Miami, Fla., on Sept. 23, 2010, of pancreatic cancer.

She is survived by her loving family. Three sons—Daniel (Ellen), Arthur (Marcy), and Charles (Debbie) Averbook; seven grandchildren—Sara (Jarret) Kaplan, Margo (Yechiel) Rosman, Amy (Jon) Karnilow, Joey (Danna) Averbook, Rebecca (Bryce) Gilbert, Jennifer Averbook and Michael Averbook; four great grandchildren—Gabriella, Avi and Atara Rosman and Samuel Sherman Kaplan; and her sister in-law, Anita Averbook Ravage, who is 102.

Mae Averbook was the youngest of six children. Her parents were originally from, Kiev, Ukraine. Her four brothers, one of whom was Ed Usem, founder of Usem Chevrolet, and her sister preceded her in death. Thomas Sherman, Ed Usem’s grandson, still operates Usem Chevrolet. She still has over 50 nieces, nephews, and cousins with whom she remained in regular contact.

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She was born in Austin, married David Averbook, and together they operated Averbook’s Department Store, the Austin Hotel, and, for several years, the Alcove restaurant. She and David moved to Miami in 1973, where they jointly operated Raphael’s Stained Glass Studio for almost 20 years. Mae and David were married for 67 years. Mae’s favorite place was in the kitchen, where she was famous for her beautiful presentations as well as magic bars, chocolate chip cookies, and other delicious goodies which she distributed regularly to those she loved. She also had what seemed like a personal relationship with potted flowers and plants, which happily flourished in her home and on her balcony. Her compassion, interest in others, and her nurturing and friendly nature created friends of all ages. Mae was an active dedicated volunteer to many organizations including Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Woman, Zonta and the Pilot Club. Mae leaves a legacy of proud parenting, proper protocol, music, laughter, education, the joy of cooking, doing your best and always maintaining a positive mental attitude.

One of Mae’s favorite charities was the International Essential Tremor Foundation, PO Box 14005, Lenexa, KS 66285. (Phone 888-387-3667).