North Hills, NY—Simone Lipton, former communications director for Jewelers of America and later a consultant for the JCK Show in its early years, died August 16. She was 84.
Lipton (nee Flax) was born in Newark, NJ. She graduated from Columbia High School and Upsala College, with a degree in French and Spanish. A pioneer careerwoman in the 1950s, she began working in public relations for a French magazine called Realities in New York City and a chemical company in New Jersey before moving to Retail Jewelers of America (the predecessor to JA), where she was renowned throughout the industry for her work on both the tradeshow side of the industry and as a public relations executive. She also mentored many young women in the industry, including Deborah Krehbiel Overly, who worked with Lipton at JA and posted a moving tribute on her Facebook page.
“My friend, my mentor, my Jewish mother, Simone was the quintessential brainstormer, communications director, tireless and powerful in her drive to get things done,” said Overly.
In addition, Lipton held several major fundraisers for Neurofibromatosis Type 2, which afflicts her grandson, on behalf of the Children's Tumor Foundation, and was recognized by the organization for her efforts.
Lipton was predeceased by her husband Seymour (Sy) Lipton, also popular in the jewelry industry. She is survived by two daughters, Barbara Gross Franklin (Michael), and Jackie Gross (Stuart Siris); and two grandchildren, Adam Goodkind and Laura Goodkind. She is also survived by her brother, Walter Flax (Googie), and stepdaughter, Sherry Citrin (Gary).
On a personal note, I worked with Simone during my tenure at JCK. She was someone who not only remained calm—she used to say there wasn’t much she hadn’t seen before--but who also helped me as a novice manager to keep things in perspective when the “to-do” list grew overwhelming during key show and product launches.
Funeral services are Thursday, August 18 at Bernheim Apter Kreitzman, Livingston, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Simone Lipton's memory to either the Adam Goodkind NF2 Research Fund at The Children's Tumor Foundation (ctf.org) or to United Cerebral Palsy Foundation (ucp.org). Read more here.