Nettie Shulman
July 28, 1922 – November 23, 2020
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Nettie and I met at Folk Dancing with Ira Weisburd in Margate, FL back in the early 1980’s. We also once shared a hotel room at one of Ira‘s dance weekends with n the Catskills. We shared some life stories; cried and cracked up laughing a lot.

Her laughter, smiling face and truthful twinkle in her eyes brought joy to me and many others whose lives she touched. I’m so glad to have known her! Thanks Nettie for your quick wit, truth saying, and ever loving 💜

May her family and friends all be comforted by her sweet memory. Rest In ❤️ & Peace Nettie🙏🏼

Isabel Miller

I met Nettie when she moved into The Summit at Brighton. I work the weekend. Nettie’s eyes lit up when she saw the Bernie Sanders sticker on my water bottle and immediately started interrogating me about my political beliefs. The topics of the prison system, unions and politics became the glue that bound us. Nettie was quite a woman and I loved hearing her stories of picket lines and protests. I looked so forward to catching up with her every weekend on the past week’s current events and hearing more tales of the past. Nettie’s best advice to me was to always have something useful to do that would benefit society and the less fortunate. While I feel a definite loss, I, at the same time, feel a tremendous gain.

Her Laugh

I will always remember her laugh
A full throated one
Her mouth wide open
Her teeth so large
It went on and on
Like it possessed her
Her eyes were riveted on you
Engaging with you
Understanding you
Knowing you
Loving you

I will always remember her sorrow
So profound so deep
the pain that she wore on her face
for the world
for Sonny
the tears we all shared
her enduring spirit

There will most likely be only one Nettie in my life
She stood out in those formative years
A little crazy, but oh what a force
Her tennis skirts,
Her fashion, Her ceramic lamps,
Her political art
Her fresh squeezed orange juice
Her anger
Her compassion
Her truth
Her love of life
Her laugh

In loving memory,
Phil DeSantis

My initial attraction to Nettie was having similar senses of humor.This developed into a deep friendship.She was one of the brightest, well rounded, most interesting, yet controversial women that I have every befriended. I was her confidante, something I will always treasure. She leaves a large void in my life. My deepest sympathy to the family.

Hours sitting at the Shulman kitchen table, watching Sonny push his food around his plate waiting for Nettie to get distracted, and then whoosh, out the window his food would go. How did such a smart woman not suspect that he really wasn't eating the eggs, sardines, the liver pills, the fresh orange juice, 'Butchie, do you like it with the pits?', etc, she was trying to have Carl eat. Oh how he longed for a bowl of Fruit Loops! I have so many other memories of my youth in apartment 16D. It was Nettie's passion for civil rights, the anti war movement and so many events of our youth that opened Sonny's mind and in turn opened ours. Nettie, I always looked forward to our annual phone call on Sonny's birthday and our getting together, (still at the kitchen table) and occasionally at the pizza place across the street in the shopping center to discuss issues of the day and things pertaining to my life. It meant a lot to me that you called me before you moved to Rochester to make sure I had your new phone number. When we spoke last year, you were very happy in your new home and keeping busy. In fact you needed to cut the call short because you were off to an event. Still on the move at 97! I appreciated when you and Abe met me at the finish line of my first marathon in 1997 that I ran in honor of Sonny, wearing his picture on my shirt. I called you yesterday and was saddened when I got Seth's message that you had passed. Nettie, you were a force and you will be missed.

Nettie was a very special person. A real charmer. I would sit and talk with her many times during the day. She reminded me of a member of my own family. I called her my Bubbela and had a t-shirt made made with the word Bubbela on it. Look for it among her 'things'. She will be missed. My thoughts are with you and your family. Stay well and safe.

Nettie was a dear friend of my parents, Charlie and Esther- her passing marks the end of my parent’s circle of friends. After my parents died I stayed in regular touch with Nettie- me and my cousin Rose Weber (who was also Nettie’s neighbor) had monthly Royalty games at Nettie’s lovely Warbasse apartment followed by a nice dinner at a local eatery, usually Russian or Thai. She was an avid competitor usually defeating us and sometimes correctly accusing us of conspiring against her. Me and my wife sing for peace and justice with the New York City Labor Chorus and Nettie, in stalwart fashion schlepped to our Manhattan concert in 2018 with her dear friend Randy: she wrote the Chorus a letter of appreciation (Memoirs) which is posted on our website: (

I met Nettie in 1977 at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital when I was both a new bride and social worker. Nettie was 55 and just starting her career. For the next 2 ½ years, we had lengthy lunches together with our colleagues where I was educated , impressed and enthralled with her intellect, wit and the depth of her grasp of humanity. Since then I have used the term ”Nettieism” for a few of her more memorable comments that were so appropriate and on target. We lost contact for some 20 years but I tracked her down to reconnect. I was able to see her twice in Florida where she spent the winter when I was vacationing there. For the last 5 years, we have spoken often and regularly and her insight, mental acuity, curiosity and passion have never wavered. While I knew that her life expectancy was limited and she told me that she was accepting and ready to pass, I hoped that she would still get through quarantine to enjoy some more bridge games. I am forever grateful for her wisdom and the life lessons she shared. I appreciate and hope we all can embrace her conscious choice to find and accept joy in the face of pain and adversity. May her memory be a blessing to all who knew her.

Ponderer: 'A reflective thinker characterized by quiet contemplation.' Whether it be social justice, capital punishment, class consciousness or dialectical materialism; what could be a greater gift than the slew of issues we have to consider; and the cognitive faculties to analyze them. To a Great Thinker!

Love, Seth and Donna

Genius is not a whisper, but a roar. The primal need to search for truth in guidance invariably draws us to the wisdom of our elders. In your anecdotes we find inspiration, from your experience, our orientation, and imbibe your mirth as our libations. The understanding of self is only as referenced to the unique individuality of those whom we understand; though we may not follow your every footstep, it is by recalling their path that we may confidently choose our own path. Thank you Grandma, and may each memory of you inspire not only personal fulfillment and success, but a celebration of the benefit it brings us all.

Love, Gus.

Grandma, while you often speak of the courage you envy for one to travel to new beautiful places, I would contend that it takes far more courage to insert one's self into unwelcoming controversies in places of new societal change. And for this and all of the times that your actions matched thoughts and passions, I envy your courage. And now, in moments of my own personal outrage with oppression and injustice, I ask myself: 'What would my 90+ year old grandmother do?' Thank you for teaching me how to always be young, courageous and able.

Love, Brie

To a Woman

Of Passion

Passion for the Class Struggle

Passion for Mass Music & its Movement

Passion for Cinema

Passion for Prisoner Rights

Passion for Nature

Passion for Abstract Thought

Passion for Family

Dear Mom,

Others may consider, but You are contemplative;
Others may be engaged, but You are vivacious;
Others may send a check, but You are at the rally;
Others are too afraid to speak, while you boldly challenge the establishment;
Others see the crime, while You see the underlying conditions.


It's a Privilege to be your son.