Carol Landau (nee Newman), 87, was born in Cleveland, on Feb. 16, 1934, and passed on peacefully Oct. 10, 2021.
For 87 years, she made Cleveland her home. Born at St. Luke’s Hospital on Feb. 16, 1934, Carol was the youngest of Albert and Jeannette Newman’s two children. Following in her brother Dick’s footsteps, she graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1951, and then earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) in June 1955. At Heights High, she met her sweetheart, Jack Landau, whom she married in December 1955. Carol and Jack shared a love of travel, tennis, bridge, and Jewish culture. They shared 58 years together until Jack’s death in 2014.
Family, friends, and community were at the center of Carol’s life. She was a consummate homemaker and an amazing mother to her four children, David (Tanya Brunner), Miriam “Mimi”, Ruth (Leila Peters), and Steven (partner, Leah B.) And she loved being Nana to her five grandchildren, Gabe, Silas, Ingrid, Claudia and Nathan. She was always there with a kind word, a phone call, the perfect card, and a honey cake at the holidays. She never forgot a birthday, anniversary or special occasion of a child, cousin or dear friend. She and Jack helped put their four children through college – always there with encouragement, advice and support. And, as they got older, she lovingly welcomed their spouses and partners into the family.
Carol always urged her children to try new things and not to give up. When she turned 50, she took her own advice and started taking swimming lessons to overcome a childhood fear of the water. She eventually became a backstroker-extraordinaire, swimming 200 laps to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.
Service and volunteerism were a core part of Carol’s nature. She was dedicated to others and to making everything a little better. She logged miles upon miles driving kids to Hebrew school, Sunday school, swim practice, swimming lessons, tennis, ballet, birthday parties…you name it. She was even a Cub Scout den mother for a year.
A long-time member of Temple Emanu El, she helped with snacks at Hebrew school, was active in the sisterhood, served an elected term as board president, and volunteered for many years to answer the phone so the temple’s staff could hold their weekly meeting. She regularly donated blood (just shy of nine gallons) and volunteered as a baby holder in the preemie unit at the hospital. Voted by her classmates as “Most Outstanding Female Graduate” at Heights High, she led reunions of her high school class for 50 years. Somehow, even while raising four children, she always found ways to be involved and the time to help others.
And friends. Carol built and maintained loving friendships that literally lasted a lifetime – Florida neighbors, high school classmates, cousins, sisters-in-law, and many, many others – and regularly checked in with them across the miles and across the years. She kept track of moves, birthdays, anniversaries, births, and deaths, remembering them all.
Carol liked to have fun and loved to share it. A fan of the circus, Jack took her every year for some 40 years. Carol was also an accomplished bridge player and an avid tennis player. She had regular ladies’ bridge games for more than 60 years. She came to have fun, but played to win. She and Jack also played duplicate bridge for decades in a long-running couples’ game.
We can’t count the number of times people have told us, “Your mom is the nicest person I’ve ever met.” And she was. In her quiet and unassuming way, Carol was a force. Determined and resilient, yet full of optimism, kindness, and positivity. Capable and competent in so many ways. No matter what life threw at her, Carol never complained, never seemed particularly overwhelmed, and was just ‘there’ for you. She was someone you admired and wanted to make proud.
Carol loved life. She enjoyed the “ups” and made the best of the “downs.” She will be truly and deeply missed and loved and fondly remembered by all whose lives she touched.
Carol was the beloved wife of the late Dr. Jack M. Landau; devoted mother of David (Tanya Brunner) Landau of Seattle, Mimi Landau of Cuyahoga Falls, Dr. Ruth (Leila Peters) Landau of Lebanon, Ind., and Steven (partner, Leah B.) Landau of Seattle; dearly loved former mother-in-law of Kate Adler of Seattle; loving grandmother of Claudia and Nathan Landau, Gabe, Silas and Ingrid Landau; dear sister of Richard Newman (deceased) and sister-in-law of Dorothy Reynolds of Arizona and Evelyn Burrage of Beachwood; and cherished cousin.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 15 at Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz Memorial Chapel, 1985 S. Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights.
To view this service at 10 AM Friday please navigate to bkbmc.com for the link.
Entombment will follow at the Mausoleum in Hillcrest Memorial Park, 26700 Aurora Road in Bedford Heights.
Shiva information may be received by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Masks will be required for the visit.
Contributions in Carol’s memory may be made to the Dr. Jack and Carol Landau Music Fund of Temple Emanu El (teecleve.org) or to Hospice of the Western Reserve (hospicewr.org).
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at bkbmc.com for the Landau family.