November 29, 2017

Mechele Flaum, 67

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Mechele Flaum died on November 10. She was 67.

Born on August 8, 1970, she was the daughter of Clara and George Plotkin, and sister of Faith Popcorn of the Georgica Association, Wainscott, and Manhattan. Mechele grew up in the East Village, was educated at her beloved Brooklyn Friends School and achieved a BA cum laude from American University. After college, she received an MA in American folklore from University of Pennsylvania, followed by an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. She was recruited to Seagram's & Sons as brand manager and went on to join Thompson Medical as brand director for Slim-Fast.

Later on, after marrying Sander Flaum, a pharmaceutical executive, Mechele went to work with her sister, becoming the president of Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve, a future-focused consultancy serving the Fortune 500. Later she formed her own trend analysis company, Marketing Fire, where she spoke nationally and internationally on consumer trends. In addition, she was responsible for running her family's real estate company, called Fame (for Faith & Mechele).

Her loving nieces, Georgica Rose Popcorn and Clara Cecil Popcorn, will miss her deeply. Her extended family, Pamela and Matthew Weinberg (of New York and Sagaponack) and their children, Rebecca and Benjamin, as well as Tami and Jonathan Flaum of Asheville, NC and their children, Ren and Eve, mourn her passing. Her first cousin is Richard Siegler, founder of Escola de Samba Boom, the group that drums on Sagg Main Beach all summer, with his wife, Nancy Winarick of Shelter Island, and their children Eliza and Sam. Other first cousins are David Storper and his wife Tina with children, Florry Wei, Wolf, and Axel, of Sagaponack and New York, and Dr. Ian and Paula Storper of Brooklyn Heights, NY with son Josh.

Mechele had literally hundreds of wonderful friends who will miss her terribly as well, having kept in touch with people from grade school on up and sending out hundreds of (paper) birthday cards each year.

Her roots were deep in the Hamptons, starting from the time she summered at her sister's home on Bluff Road, Amagansett and waitressed at a diner on Montauk Highway, where she said the potato farmers were the best tippers, a dollar on a well-served cup of coffee. She was fun-loving and optimistic and was often seen gracing the lanes of the East End in her perfectly restored 1971 white convertible Ford Torino. She adored her home on Kellis Pond in Water Mill with her husband Sander, where they held an annual July Fourth picnic and hosted their Fresh Air kids, Candace and Ebony.

Her favorite shopping haunt for big deco earrings was the LVIS Bargain Box, and she took her nieces to the LVIS fair each year on the last Saturday in July.

She was a gracious and giving person. A member of the Central Synagogue, she also served on the boards of the Women's Campaign International, Women's Executive Circle of United Jewish Federation, the Global Organization for Organ Donation (GOOD), the Doe Fund, and the Brooklyn Friends School.

Marketer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, speaker, Mechele died peacefully after a long bout with cancer at her home in New York City. She was attended by her dedicated nurses, Jo Barr and Holly Hesse, who serenaded her with her favorite Beatles song, "Michelle, Ma Belle." Her brilliant doctors -- Andre Goy of East Hampton and Hackensack Hospital, and Bernard Kruger of Bridgehampton and Lenox Hill Hospital -- did all they could humanly do for her. Her sister Faith was holding her hand in the final moments and walked with her to the very end of her path.

Contributions in Mechele's memory can be made Hackensack UMC, specify the Clara Goy Foundation on the website.

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