Sonia Peres, president's wife, dies at 87 in Tel Aviv

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 20, 2011 13:50

Photo Gallery: Born in Poland in 1923, Sonia made aliya four years later, married the future president in 1945; Peres returns to his Tel Aviv home.

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Sonia and Shimon Peres with dates 311. (photo credit: The Jerusalem Post archives)

Sonia Peres passed away on Thursday, aged 87. She leaves behind her husband, President Shimon Peres, and three grown children, Tzvia, Yonatan and Nehemiah.

MDA was called to Peres's Tel Aviv apartment to revive her, but were forced to pronounce her dead.

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Sonia Peres, nee Gellman, was born in Poland in 1923, and made aliya in 1927. Her parents worked and lived at the Ben Shemen Youth Village, where she met her future husband. He was in the grade above her.

In 1942, she enlisted in the British Army, where she served as nurse in an army hospital near Cairo. She was later made a truck driver for the British Army and drove across Europe several times.

Sonia and Shimon Peres were married in May, 1945, and were amongst the founders of Kibbutz Alumot.

Sonia Peres was known for being private, and did not go to many political events. She chose not to move to the Beit Hanassi in 2007, and the two have lived separately since then.

Peres returned to his Tel Aviv home.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said: "Sonia Peres was a special woman and person. She was a symbol of modesty, simplicity and love of her fellow man. She made sure to stay away from the spotlight and keep her life private. She constantly helped those in need; everyone who knew her appreciated her. May her memory be blessed."


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