Max Crystal died peacefully on Friday night at the Hebrew Home Hospital. He was 87. He was the gentlest of souls with a constant twinkle in his eye and a ready sense of humor despite a life filled with hardship. He was born in Warsaw Poland in 1927 to Josef and Faiga Crystal. He had five brothers and two sisters. In 1939, at the age of 12, he and an older cousin escaped the Warsaw Ghetto and fled to Russia. Soon separated from his cousin, he resourcefully survived World War II in a number of work camps in the Ural Mountains, while acquiring a life-long love for the Russian people and language. After the war, he returned to Poland to find nothing for him there. His parents and all his brothers and sisters except one had been killed in the war. He was able to emigrate to Canada a few years after World War II by signing a contract to be a lumberjack in Timmins, Ontario. Shortly thereafter he was reunited with his sole surviving sister Irene Crystal Springer. He became a Canadian citizen in 1953 and a U. S. citizen in 1960. For nearly thirty years he was a presser in Bronx, N.Y. and a loyal member of the ILGWU. In 2003 he relocated to Bloomfield Connecticut at Federation Homes and enjoyed a wonderful quality of life for the last 11 years. He was an avid gardener, a vigorous long distance walker for as long as he was able, and a voracious reader of the New York Times and the Nation. Although a dogged polemicist for the causes he believed in, he was never strident and he welcomed good arguments. He leaves many friends at Federation Homes and was very grateful for the support the staff provided. He was predeceased by his sister Irene Springer and leaves his nephew Felix Springer and niece Helene Springer of West Hartford and two grandnieces, Shira Springer of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Dena Springer of Woodbridge, Connecticut. A graveside memorial service will be held on Sunday morning at 10 at Hartford Mutual Society Memorial Park, East Granby. Donations may be made in his memory to a
charity of one’s choice.