May 7, 1928 – March 1, 2020
Leila also known as Mom, Grandma, Grammy, Aunt, Cousin, and Friend was one of the most beautiful, positive, helpful, and sociable people. She touched so many lives.
Family and friends describe Leila as a fun, loving, active, spreader of warmth and positive thoughts to everyone around her, and humble.
In all situations, her caring and love shone through.
Leila R Smith, daughter of Rose Goldfinger and step-daughter of Frank Simon of Brooklyn, was born in 1928 New York. She accelerated though school and by the time she graduated from New York University at 19, she began teaching college students, many younger than herself. She later received a Masters from California State University San Francisco.
At age 13, Leila first dated her true love, Seymour. When he found out how young she was, and his friends made fun, he decided it best to wait this one out. They kept track of each other in the small Bronx neighborhood and finally got back together for good when she was in her early 20s.
Original author in 1974 of the successful college text book series, "English For Careers" and continued updating it with new editions every few years through 2006. It was the top selling book in its category for many years.
Leila participated in The Association for Business Communication as a regular presenter at their conferences. She also presented for California Business Educators Association. After her teacher exchange year in England, she presented a session, “Teaching English to the English.”
She was active with Temple Beth El Sisterhood in San Pedro. She was a member of Gamma Chapter of Theta Alpha Delta and active with them right through retirement.
One of the more unusual aspects of her teaching career included participating in international research projects related to accelerative learning and teaching. She presented on this topic and integrated it into her textbook. While at Harbor College, she wrote and published a text on the topic called “Superlearning” that was used on a number of campuses but not picked up by a publishing house, at least so far.
Leila and Seymour traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe, including London when Leila swapped jobs (and homes) for a year with another business English professor under the Fulbright Scholar Program. The Prince of Wales visited her class because of her innovative teaching techniques.
Leila is survived by her daughter and son, Rivka and Eric; grandchildren Sean, Sarala, Sheela, and Nina; great grandchildren Swan, Shoshanna; Stella, Judah, and Jack; her brother and sister-in-law Martin and Roberta; five nephews and one niece, and numerous cousins.
Donations in her loving memory can be made to The Alzheimer's Association, Temple Beth El of San Pedro, or your local public community college.