Mrs. Brish was born in Warsaw, Poland, to Rachela and Hermann Kühl on Jan. 16, 1939. As a Jewish toddler during the Holocaust, she survived because her mother bought papers claiming they were Christian and changed her name from Patricia to Krystina. They escaped from Poland to Czechoslovakia, where her mother found work going from farm to farm, in exchange for food and a barn floor on which to sleep.
After the war, she and her mother returned to Poland, settling in Bielawa. She stayed there until age 18 when she moved to Israel. While serving in the Israel Defense Forces, she was trained to become a registered nurse and worked at Tel HaShomer, Israel’s first military hospital. There she met her future husband, Adam Brish, a neurosurgeon. They were married after six months and moved to the United States in 1963.
For Adam’s work and training, they had short stays in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, where their daughter, Susan, was born, before settling in Marquette, Wisconsin, where their son, Harry, was born.
While in Marquette, Mrs. Brish graduated summa cum laude with a BA in economics from Northern Michigan University. When their children were older, she worked as a nurse and office manager in Adam’s private neurosurgery practice. She volunteered at Temple Beth Sholom, serving as president, treasurer, and Hebrew teacher in the Sunday school. She also volunteered at the library in her children’s elementary school, was active in gourmet food and investment clubs, and served on the ski patrol at Marquette Mountain.
Starting in 1993, she and Adam spent winters in Sun City West. Mrs. Brish became active in local bridge clubs in Marquette and Sun City West and eventually became a bridge Ruby Life Master.
Mrs. Brish was featured in Steven Spielberg’s “Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation” project in July 1998.
Survivors include her children, Susan (Scott Arden) Brish of Tucson and Harry (Maureen) Brish of Tempe; sister, Sabina Margalit of Riverdale, New York; and three grandchildren.
Services were held at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Phoenix, AZ. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Beth Sholom, 223 Blaker Street, Marquette, MI 49855 (https://sites.google.com/view/mqtsynagogue).