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On Monday, September 4, 2017, Bonnie Feldman Reiss passed away peacefully at her apartment in New York City. She spent the final few weeks surrounded by her family and friends at the place she loved most, the house she built in East Hampton, NY. The cause was pancreatic cancer. She adored her family, including her husband of 48 years, Rick, her two children, Lauren Reiss Frank and Michael, their spouses, Brian Frank and Elizabeth Right Reiss, and her amazing grandchildren, Will Frank, Matt Frank and Caroline Reiss. Their presence, their love and their great connection with Bonnie was an absolute wonder and there is no doubt that her strength, her beauty, her grace and her love lives on through them. Bonnie was born on June 25, 1945 and grew up in Forest Hills, NY. She graduated from the Garden School, received her BA from New York University and her JD from NYU Law School, where she met her husband.
Bonnie practiced law in New York City for 13 years with the Federal Trade Commission, Macmillan and JC Penney before deciding to concentrate on parenting and charitable endeavors. She was an active member of the Parents' Association at the Brearley School and she served as a Board member of The Big Apple Circus, Midori and Friends and Guild Hall of East Hampton. She also served as a Trustee and Vice-Chairperson of the NYU Law School Board. Together with her husband Rick, Bonnie was devoted to supporting education and educational opportunities for young men and women at all levels. In 1994, she started the Reiss Family Scholarship Fund which now supports eight Dartmouth College students every year as well as two undergraduates at Harvard University and three JD candidates at NYU Law School. She also endowed the Bonnie and Richard Reiss Chair in Constitutional Law at NYU Law School and the similarly named speaker series in Constitutional Law and History at the New York Historical Society. In 2015, Bonnie was honored by Prep for Prep for her support of its efforts to identify and prepare exceptional students of color for achievement at rigorous independent schools.
Bonnie's life was characterized by a love of art, design and architecture which showed in her collection of photography and contemporary art as well as in each of her family homes (including her grandchildren's tree house) -- homes that she carefully and meticulously created so that she could share them with her family and friends. Above all, her life was one of contribution, commitment and caring. She loved all of us as much as humanly possible; she took care of us; and she guided us through the difficult times in our lives. Bonnie made each of us better. Bonnie, we will miss you dearly. Your memory will guide us forever and we will always love you. Rick, Lauren, Michael, Brian, Elizabeth, Will, Matt and Caroline.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bonnie's honor to Cycle for Survival at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).
Checks can be made out to “MSK” and sent to:
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Attn: Cycle for Survival
885 2nd Ave, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017
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