Lifecycles | Obituaries

Sima Aziz

Sima Aziz

Sima (Simi) Aziz, 88, died May 28, 2019.

Mrs. Aziz was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jennie (nee Finesilver) and Benjamin Gerel of Russia. She grew up in the Bronx with two brothers and three sisters. In 1951, she moved to Tucson, where she met and married Rahmat Aziz in 1957. They left together in 1958, raising a son and daughter in California and Colorado before returning to Tucson in 1978. 

Mrs. Aziz had a career in accounting. Her poetry was published in the journal of SAGE (Seminars for Adult Growth and Enrichment) at the University of Arizona, now OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). Her volunteer activities included the League of Women Voters, the Tucson school system, and public radio. She worked at Congregation Anshei Israel in the 1950s and was a co-founder of Congregation Bet Shalom. 

Mrs. Aziz was predeceased by her sisters, Sarah Schuster of Tucson, Sophie Finston, and Esther Kromberg, and her brother Martin Gerel. Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Rahmat; brother Marvin Gerel of Queens, New York; and children, David (Aliza) Aziz of Zichron Yaakov, Israel, and Shuli Steele of Boulder, Colorado; and six grandchildren.

Graveside services were held at East Lawn Palms Cemetery in the Bet Shalom section, with Rabbis Avi Alpert of Bet Shalom and Yossi Shemtov of Young Israel/Chabad officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Bet Shalom, 3881 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718 ( or American Friends of Magen David Adom at