Family of Leila ‘Tutu’ Brin

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Leila ‘Tutu’ Brin

Leila about 16 Chicago_crop

Leila about 16 in Chicago

Leila Brin at approx 16

Leila Brin

Leila Brin

Leila Brin

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Leila Brin

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Fred Kantoff, Leila’s first husband.

Leila Brin began her career as a Corrective Physical Education instructor in Chicago. Her Tucson period in the 1930s, when she boarded asthmatic children in Tuscon AZ, is described in the chapter on the Kantoff Family.

Sandra Kantoff/Green, Leila’s only child:

Sandra 10 weeks old

Sandra was born in October of 1931 to Leila and her first husband, Fred Kantoff. She is 10 weeks old in this photo.

Sandra 11-1935

Sandra  in November of 1935

Sandra 1938

Sandra in 1938



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Sandra (right) with a girlfriend in Tucson AZ

Sandra 1941

Sandra 1941

Sandra's 5th grade class 1941

Sandra’s 5th grade class 1941. Sandra is in the 2nd row, 4th from the right.

Sandra at approx 16

Sandra when she was a teenager


Sandra Kantoff-Green

By 1944, Leila, and her daughter, Sandra, had moved to Los Angeles. On March 28, 1945 Leila married Harry Green. It was Harry’s 3rd marriage. Though not adopted by Harry, Sandra took his surname in 1948. After Sandra married Merrill Bonar in 1950, Leila and Harry left Los Angeles for Honolulu.

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Sandra was Valedictorian of her Senior Class at Hollywood High School (1949)



Two views of the Edgemont Apartments in Hollywood, where Leila lived with her daughter, Sandra, and her 2nd husband, Harry Green.


After graduating from High School, Sandra decided to go into nursing; but this plan dissolved when she decided to marry Merrill Bonar. She is seen here with her fellow novitiates: 3rd row, 6th from the left.

Leila with her daughter, Sandra

Leila with her daughter, Sandra

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In 1950 Sandra married Merrill Gruenberg-Bonar. l-r: Margie Katz (Merrill’s mom), Merrill, Sandra, Leila

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Marriage Certificate of Leila Brin Kantoff and Harry Green: March 28, 1945.

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Leila  arriving in Hawaii c. 1950 with her 2nd husband Harry Green

Harry in Hawaii 2

Harry Green

Harry Green was a very enterprising business man. Moving with Leila from Los Angeles to Hawaii, Harry was offered a job in the early 1950s to assist a friend who had developed a method of refloating the ships that had been sunk during the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Unfortunately, his friend was not as clever as Harry, insisting that the Navy give him exclusive rights. As a result, Harry’s friend lost any chance for a contract with the Navy, which left Harry out in the cold, along with Leila.

Not to be defeated, and after he had became aware through another friend that the Navy had a warehouse full of new appliances which servicemen had not, heretofore, been able to afford, Harry developed a plan to sell these appliances on time. Among these appliances were freezers, and it was then that Harry came up with the idea of a food plan. He would sell food on a regular basis to men in the armed services and include a free freezer to preserve the meats and other items that were perishable. To be sure, at the time, freezers were a rather new item for folks to have in their homes, so Harry’ plan was all the more innovative!

In the meantime, Leila became very fascinated with Hawaiian popular culture, even learning to do the hula. Upon the birth of her first grandchild, Jeff Bonar, she took the nickname ‘Tutu,’ the Hawaiian term for grandmother. Tutu was not about to become just another Bubbie!

Tutu doin-the-Hula

Leila was a huge Hula fan

Jeff, Tutu, Mom, Dad, Harry Hawaii

Tutu and Harry in Hawaii during Merrill and Sandy Bonar’s visit there with their first-born child, Jeffrey. L-R; Tutu holding Jeff,  Sandy, Merrill, Harry

Tutu lived a significant part of her life in Honolulu with Harry, where they were prominent members of the Aloha Jewish Chapel in Pearl Harbor. In order to obtain the money needed to purchase air conditioners for the latter, which was a mere Quonset Hut at the time, Tutu called in to the radio show, ‘Queen for a Day’, pleaded her case, and won!

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The Aloha Jewish Chapel in Pearl Harbor when it was just a Quonset hut. Tutu and Harry Green are in the front row to the right.

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The Aloha Jewish Temple: Tutu is standing at the left toward the middle.

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Tutu’s Coup for the Aloha Jewish Temple

After the death of Harry Green in Hawaii (1961), Tutu returned to Los Angeles. In 1968 she married for a third time; her new husband was Barnett Wiener, (d. April 14, 1982) the retired owner of a dress shop. One of Barnett’s interests was in the writing of poetry, and he compiled a short book in this genre.

Barnett’s 1st wife had been Jessie Miller. Together they had a son, Harold Weiner who married Dorice Kurtzman, daughter of Jack Kurtzman. Harold and Dorice had three children: Lawrence, Russell, and Jerrold.

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Barnett ‘Barney’ Weiner, Leila’s 3rd husband

Liela and Barney

Liela and Barney on their wedding day. June 1968

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Leila ‘Tutu’ Brin and Barnett ‘Barney’ Weiner, Leila’s 3rd Husband

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Barnett Wiener’s poem, ‘The Passing Parade’

TUTU with Barney

Tutu with Barney

TUTU Barney & Harold

Barney with his son, Harold (b. 1924)  who married to Dorice Kurtzman (b. 1927) on September 15, 1947 in Los Angeles. Harold’s mother was Jessie M. Miller. Dorice’s parents were Jack Kurtzman and Shirley Herschandler.

OBIT: Los Angeles TIMES, 14 April 1982, Page C4, WEINER, Barnett “Barney”, beloved husband of Leila WEINER; loving father of Harold (Dorice) WEINER and Sandra (Merrill) BONAR; adored grandfather of Lawrence S., Russell G. and Jerrold A. WEINER and Jeffrey G., Janis E. and Nancy S. BONAR. Services Thursday, 3 p.m. at Courts of Tanach Chapel, Mount Sinai Memorial Park. Mount Sinai Mortuary. Family prefers donations to your favorite charity.


Leila could cut the caper as well as any youngster. Here she is dancing the Hora at her granddaughter Nancy’s wedding with Jeff Bonar and Chick Lehrer.


Leila ‘Tutu’ Brin during her last years



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