Leonid Ikhil-Benjaminivich Zilberfayn passed away on November 10, 2020. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine on December 5, 1936 to Masya and Ikhil-Benjamin Zilberfayn, one of two children (brother Vova). During World War II, Leonid, with his mother and younger brother, fled Odessa under heavy fire and bombing with the last of the Soviet troops. Journeying by foot and train, Leonid and his family made it all the way to Tbilisy, Georgia. Although the beginning of his life was met with hardships and unrest, the relocation saved his family and he eventually attended the first grade in Tbilisy.
After the war, he returned to Odessa to finish middle school and begin his study at technical school. He began working as foreman at a machine-tool plant, simultaneously studying at the mechanical institute to obtain an engineering degree. He was recognized for his performance by his company and was ultimately promoted to senior mechanical engineer.
Leonid met his wife Talina on a blind date to the theater, bringing with him candy rather than the traditional flowers for Talina because of his sweet tooth. The two fell in love and got married on October 3, 1969, giving birth to two daughters--Irina and Viktoria. Leonid loved Talina beyond words, never being able to spend more than a moment apart from each other. Leonid considered his family the moving force in his life--sacrificing so much to give them all the happiness in the world. He was the backbone of the family, never needing anything as long as his family had all they needed and taking care of everything his family was doing.
Grateful for his loving family-in-law, Leonid and his family immigrated to Houston, Texas in the United States in 1992. The cultural shock of being thrown into a new society led him to begin working harder than ever to support his family. He was so proud of his daughters, pushing them to continue their education and settle down in the new land of opportunity. The birth of his grandchildren quickly became the brightest light in his life. Leonid raised his grandchildren in the warmth of his Eastern European cooking, the games of dominos that seemingly never ended, and never once forgetting to let anybody know exactly what was happening on the news in some Russian town. Leonid was a constant reminder to keep studying in school and never to let go of any passions. It was his dream to watch his grandchildren graduate and find successful jobs they loved.
Leonid will be missed by all those who love him dearly. He is survived by his wife, Talina Luchenitser; daughters Irina Zilberfayn and Viktoriya Gutman with son-in-law Alex Gutman; grandchildren, Eleena and Lev Sherman, and Reena and Mirra Gutman; family-in-laws Zhanna and Alexander Shtraikh, and nephew Vladimir Shtraikh and his family.
In his memory, we will continue to hear his words "Bсе будет
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