Zelda R. Mandell, 88, socially active homemaker

July 28, 2006

Zelda R. Mandell, a homemaker active in Northwest Baltimore social circles, died of respiratory failure Sunday at the Genesis Spa Creek nursing home in Annapolis. She was 88.

Born Zelda Rotkowitz in Baltimore and raised on East Lombard Street, she was a 1936 graduate of Western High School.

A few years later, she married Jack "Schnickles" Friedman, a salesman at the old Leon Levi jewelry business in downtown Baltimore. He died in 1980.

She subsequently married Joseph Mandell, a family friend and well-known restaurateur.

He operated the Mandell & Ballow delicatessen on Reisterstown Road, across from the Hilltop Diner, which was the basis for Barry Levinson's film Diner.

She enjoyed baking and card playing. She also worked at the Handbag Place in Pikesville.

She and her husband traveled to Israel and visited family members before Mr. Mandell's 1993 death.

Services were held Tuesday in Pikesville.

Survivors include her two sons, Howard Friedman of Edgewater, a wine importer, and Alan Friedman of Annapolis, a lobbyist for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.; and two grandsons.

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