Essia R Acker passed away on January 6, 2020 in Aventura FL.
“Essi” was born in Vilna, Lithuania in 1928 to Pola and Sheyel Rajchel. She survived the worst atrocities of the Holocaust in the Vilna Ghetto, Riga Latvia and Stutthoff concentration camp near the Baltic Sea as a young teen. She lost most members of her family but survived with her mother. She was liberated by the British Army on the shores of Neustadt Holstein off a barge in the water on May 3, 1945. She witnessed the aftermath of the bombing of the ship Cap Arcona. She spent 3 yrs in a displaced persons’ camp in Germany after the war.
In 1948, Essi and her mother immigrated to Montreal, Canada with the ILGWU after studying sewing at ORT school. She married Michael Acker In 1953 in Manhattan and became a proud and patriotic US citizen. Self-taught, she designed a house and business and ran Michael’s Salon, the barbershop and beauty salon at the Concord Hotel until 1987. Spending their time between New York and Miami Beach, she and Michael ultimately settled in what is now Sunny Isles Beach, FL.
Never one to forget her blessings, Essi was full of life and laughter. Essi was a linguist who spoke 7 languages fluently. A lover of the arts, she herself played piano, guitar and mandolin and was a painter and sketch artist. An avid gardener, her gardens were loved and photographed by many. Essi believed nothing was more important than education, she continued to educate herself and later in life she educated students and took part in U of Miami programs in Holocaust Education.
Essi is survived by an only daughter Sheila Acker Spitz, son-in-law Adam Spitz, and grandchildren Peri Gruber and Hayley Spitz, her family meant everything to her. She was predeceased by her mother Pola, father Sheyel Rajchel (Holocaust victim) and her loving husband of 51 years, Michael. Essi wanted to remind the world to follow the Golden Rule. Don’t do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.