POSTED: 5:27 PM EDT July 30, 2004
UPDATED: 6:17 PM EDT July 30, 2004
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- A South Florida woman who died this week had an unusual last request. Instead of flower or contributions in her name to a charity, she asked those who loved her to try to make sure President George W. Bush is not re-elected.
Joan Abbey Joan Abbey, shown here before her death, wanted most of all to have President George W. Bush lose the November election. Loved ones said that Joan Abbey was committed to her political passions, even in death.
Abbey was born in Montreal, but lived for many years in Miami Beach and Aventura. Family and friends came from as far away as Canada and California to remember Abbey at the Mount Nebo Jewish Cemetery in Miami.
Abbey, who was a lifelong Democrat, died Monday -- coincidentally on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.
Her sister, Tillie Shapiro, said, "She was just a caring person … She cared about people, and people who were disadvantaged."
Abbey was buried the day after the Democratic convention ended. Her unusual death notice in the Miami Herald said: "You can honor Joan's values by voting against George Bush and contributing to a liberal or Democratic cause."
Abbey's nephew, Martin Shapiro, said, "What she cared most about was improving circumstances in this country... getting rid of George Bush and making this a better country for all people."
Coincidentally, the presiding rabbi, Brett Goldstein, is a registered Democrat but is voting for Bush, and he questioned the timing of Abbey's message at such a sensitive time.
"My contention is that if there's any situation that's sacrosanct, it should be devoid of political ramifications," Goldstein said. "Although people have the opportunity and they can do it if they want to, it is not really appropriate at this time."
Shapiro said, "It was her (Abbey's) essence. It was her core value to try to see this country become a better place and become a more just society. And I think that was the last word she'd want to leave."
Abbey did not want her age known. Many friends said she remained forever young in spirit and staunchly committed to her beliefs.
Copyright 2004 by Local10.com. All rights reserved.