Shella P. Plastrik (’53)

Shella Pryzant Plastrik, 89, passed away July 13, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. She was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend. Shella and her twin sister Sarah were born to Dora and Harry Pryzant on December 21, 1930. They were raised in Willis, Texas, with their four older sisters. Shella worked in her father’s general store and excelled in school. She was very proud of being salutatorian of her high school class; Sarah was valedictorian. Shella attended The University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II program and graduated from The University of Houston with a degree in education. She continued her association with UH as an employee assisting veterans obtain VA loans toward a college degree. She met her husband Leslie at a Congregation Emanu El Jewish singles party. They married in 1957. In her marriage, Shella found true love. They cared and supported each other throughout their marriage. Shella gave birth to Laura and 3 years later to Jeffrey. She was a wonderful mother, always taking time to ensure her children received a Jewish education, `unconditional love and support. Shella was active in her children’s activities, volunteering in the school library, driving many carpools and planning perfect events. She made a Jewish home with prayers, traditions, food and, most important, love. As a lifelong member of Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Shella believed in and relied on her faith. During difficult times, she would say a silent prayer. Each Shabbat when she would light her Shabbat candles, she would say a prayer to herself for her family. After raising her family, Shella returned to work as Library Assistant in the Houston Public Libraries. She enjoyed reading to the children and helping patrons find the right book. 1988 brought joy and sadness. Laura and Rory were married in May, but in September, Shella’s beloved husband, Leslie passed away. During this difficult time, she found comfort in Judaism and her family. Shella continued to be close to her sisters and welcomed son-in-law Rory and in daughter-in-law Mara into her family. Shella greeted her twin grandchildren, Lindsey and Andrew, with much love. As a twin, she was thrilled to be a grandmother of twins. She enjoyed babysitting and teaching them new things, especially history. She was proud of their accomplishments and told them that if she is not here, she and Grandpa Leslie will be looking down saying Mazel Tov. Shella is survived by daughter Laura and son-in-law Rory Alter, son Jeffrey Plastrik and daughterin-law Mara Gittess, grandchildren Lindsey and Andrew Alter, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She is predeceased by her husband, Leslie Blair Plastrik, parents Dora and Harry Pryzant, in-laws Anita and Louis Plastrik brother Buemah Pryzant, sisters and brothers-in-law Eve and Eugene Bodner, Fannie and George Rochkind, Louise and Sanford Ribnik, Rose and Irving Gordon, and Sarah and David Schwartz, sister-in-law Rita Plastrik Urwitz and nephews Leslie Ribnik and Grant Gordon. She loved, grieved and missed each of them greatly. Shella was a true woman of valor. Donations in her memory can be made to Jewish Family Service, Goldberg Towers Foundation, Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Holocaust Museum Houston or the charity of your choice.

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