October 19, 1936 – July 18, 2021
South Bend- Anita Gertrude (Linn) Fishman, 84, died on Sunday, July 18, 2021, in Indianapolis, where she had moved in September 2020 to be closer to family. Anita was born on October 19, 1936, in South Bend, Indiana, to her parents, David and Rose (Zoss) Linn, who preceded her in death. She was raised in Michigan City, Indiana.
Many may not know that her name was actually Gertrude Anita – she changed it, but never legally and Anita suited her very well as a unique and lovely name.
On August 25, 1957, Anita married the love of her life, Stuart C. Fishman, who preceded her in death, in Michigan City, Indiana. She is survived by two daughters, Sherri Massa of Indianapolis and Lorri Fishman (Andrew Segal) of Morton Grove, Illinois; four grandchildren, Kelsey Massa and Daniel Massa (Carson Alexander) of Indianapolis, and Joel Segal of Minneapolis and Aaron Segal of Morton Grove, Illinois; and a brother, Larry Linn (Michele) of Yorktown, Virginia. She is also survived by many loving cousins and sister in law, Sharon Linder, niece, Wendy (Neil) Jaffe and grand-nephew, Adam Jaffe.
Anita put her heart and soul into everything she did, and was the consummate planner. She was happiest with her family, in the kitchen or in her lovely backyard garden. The kitchen was where she showed her love to so many through her traditional Jewish foods and Thanksgiving dinners.
Anita was a proud graduate of Michigan City Elston High School and of Indiana University, where she earned a degree in elementary education. She enjoyed playing golf, tennis and mah-jongg. She was a staunch Indiana University sports fan and also put on the best tailgates with friends at IU football games. She was a fan of the Chicago Cubs and of Notre Dame women’s basketball, the latter for which she and Stu had season tickets for several years.
She was a preschool teacher at Temple Beth-El in South Bend at its nonsectarian school for several years. When her children were older, she owned a personalized stationery and invitation business, and loved connecting with people over their special celebrations.
Anita was devoted to her Jewish faith, and she served or volunteered in nearly every capacity imaginable with the temple, Sinai Synagogue and the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley. She also remained connected with Sinai Temple in Michigan City.
She and Stu hosted several Jewish students from the University of Notre Dame for holidays, along with forming loving bonds with several young people from Israel who called South Bend home each year. Anita was proudly involved in many racial justice and social justice organizations in South Bend.
She is known for being among a group who created Temple Beth-El’s Deli Day in 2007, which was featured in a 2019 South Bend Tribune article that said: “The rye bread is baked the night before at [a local bakery.] The 150 or so dark loaves are made from a recipe that Anita Fishman and the bakery worked through in the initial years of Deli Day.” It had to be just right.
Another Tribune article quoted her in 2013 when the first day of Hanukkah coincided with Thanksgiving: “Anita Fishman said her Thanksgiving buffet will include turkey, stuffing and other traditional items — alongside potato latkes, applesauce and other Hanukkah fare. ‘The bottom line is food,’ Fishman said with a giggle. ‘As in every big family celebration, it comes down to the food.’”
Funeral services will be held privately at graveside on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. The funeral will be live streamed via Zoom starting at 2:00pm.
The family asks that donations be made to Temple Beth-El or Sinai Synagogue in South Bend or the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley. No flowers, please.
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