GSA member Lea Kanner Bleyman died on November 6, 2020, three days short of her 84th birthday. Lea was a Professor Emerita in the Department of Natural Sciences at Baruch College and a past-President of the International Society of Protozoologists (now the International Society of Protistologists).
Lea was born in Halle, Germany on November 9, 1936. After escaping with her family to France in 1939, just before World War II, Lea spent time sheltered in OSE homes (for Jewish orphans) before a stint as a hidden child, living in a convent and on a farm to protect her from Nazi terror. Post-war, reunited with her parents and two older sisters, she started a new life in New York City in 1946. For her Bachelor’s degree, Lea attended Brandeis University on a full scholarship. She earned a PhD in Genetics at Indiana University in 1966. As a professor, Lea delighted in instructing her students, which she far preferred to her year serving as Chair of the Department.
Away from the classroom or the lab, Lea was known for her vivacity. She was a voracious reader, and she subscribed to the New York Times primarily for the crosswords and other puzzles, which she completed in ink. Lea loved opera, cats, theater, college sports, sharing learning experiences with new friends in Shakespeare and opera classes, and getting letters to the editor published in the New York Times.
She is survived by her daughter, Anne Bleyman; her husband, David Minn; sister Eve Kugler; nieces and nephews.