Dorette Fleischmann

Honored by:Terrence & Maureen Tobin
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The following tribute was given by Dorette Fleischmann's daughter Joan Fleischmann Tobin at her mother's funeral:

Flawless. Faultless. Grace and character. That is what I saw so very clearly - and unfailingly - in the last months before my mother died. That they sprang from a core of decency and integrity that was part of her essence was obvious; because you cannot instantly create good character, seamless grace, manners and thoughtfulness and sustain it through pain and over time if it is not an inbred part of your being.

I am so proud - so glad - to be her daughter. I hope that I can be one sixth the lady, have one sixth the strength, the conviction and pure determination that she had. I hope I will have a small sampling of her insight of her instincts about people - and her willingness to back her own judgments - no matter how much furor that caused. My mother backed what she thought was right, what she thought was just and fair - with a determination that in men was thought of as conviction; but in women of her era was often written off as difficult. My mother was undeterred. Bravo, Mom. You were not trained or supported as women are today - and if my generation can stand half as tall, we should be well pleased.

My mother was a beauty. A devastating, ravishing beauty - even more so because she did not exploit it - in fact did not really know it. When she was nearly dead, she was still breathtakingly beautiful and her smile was so lovely it made you stare and bask in the warmth and pleasure of it. Such beauty comes partially from bone structure - but it has no radiance if there is not appreciation for and love of life, no eye for the pleasure in a detail, no amusement at the antics of people. My father adored her and as I watched I could see clearly why he had loved her for almost forty-two years.

My mother was a teacher. Not directly and not as is the case with most parents, immediately effectively. That which she taught best was not by direct design. She would point out a charming detail in a painting or tell a particularly human and fey anecdote from a biography she was reading or send a whimsical piece from the newspaper from wherever she was. Her take on life slowly became my habit, too, and thankfully I now find I look for the joyful detail. What a pleasurable pursuit. What a lovely legacy.

My mother appreciated and looked forward to each little moment - no matter where she was and no matter what she was doing - and gave to each of those moments all the enthusiasm and grace that were her particular style. It is that spirit that we want you to celebrate with us and remember as we adjust to her departure in body. It is that wonderful way with life that I hope we all remember and take with us as her legacy.

The following is from an obituary in The Washington Post of Friday March 4, 1994:

Fleischmann Dorette Kruse -- of New York, Cincinnati, OH, and Naples, FL, on Thursday March 3, 1994, at The Racquet Club in Chicago at the age of 88.

Married to philanthropist, businessman, Broadway producer, publisher and frequent government representative Julius Fleischmann, her life spanned the American century. In 1928 she embarked with her husband and two small children around the world on the 225 foot yacht Camargo 1 carrying the flag of the New York Yacht Club. While in the South Pacific, they created the maps and descriptions used by the U.S. government in the attacks on many of the Japanese-held islands in World War II. An extensive collection of artifacts from that trip was given by Mrs. Fleischmann to Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and the trip was chronicled in a book Footsteps in the Sea. Elected to the Best Dressed List in the 1930's, Mrs. Fleischmann recently donated her collection of clothes by Elizabeth Hawes Vionnet and others to the Cincinnati Art Museum, instantly making its collection one of the best in the country. She donated one of the Benjamin Latrobe columns from the old U.S. Capitol building to the National Arboretum Garden designed by Russell Page and was a supporter of the New York Public Library. She was involved with her husband in support of the Metropolitan Opera, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, UNESCO, the Bilderberg Conferences and the Council on Foreign Affairs. She was a delegate to the Atlantic Treaty Association and a member of the Atlantic Council. Mrs. Fleischmann observed many of the defining events of the 20th Century and counted among her friends political and cultural leaders and entertainment figures from around the world--including Hugh Gaitskell, W.H. Auden, Rex Harrison, Gertrude Lawrence, Margot Fonteyn, Laurence Olivier, Stephen Spender, Nicholas Nabokov, Gwen Verdon and David Niven. She had just completed her memoirs when she died.

A member of the Colony Club in New York, the Camargo Club and the Cincinnati Country Club and the Junior League of Cincinnati, Mrs. Fleischmann attended Miss Doherty's School and Smith College. She leaves a son, Charles Fleischmann III of Cincinnati, OH; two daughters, Dorette Louise Fleischmann of the Plains, VA, and Joan Fleischmann Tobin of Washington, DC; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Ceremonies will be at the Indian Hill Church in Cincinnati. The family requests that donations be made in her memory to the Children Art Education Fund at the Cincinnati Art Musuem.

Terry Tobin, March 1995