Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Mandell made her mark in Orlando

Submitted by the family

On Dec. 13, 2021, Sonia Margolis Mandell (known to friends as "Sunny" or family as "Ma"), a beloved wife, mother, and Jewish community leader, passed away peacefully surrounded by several generations of loved ones in her condo in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. She was born Jan. 27,1927.

The most important part of her life, as she describes in a memoir, written for her grandchildren, began when a debonair Brooklyn native and WWII vet named Lester Mandell asked her on a date within minutes of meeting at a local Miami dance hall. She was impressed by his self-confidence, though sh...


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