Cerise V. Feinman, the wife of Nassau Supreme Court Justice Thomas Feinman, died Saturday at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola from complications of multiple sclerosis.
She was 61 and lived in Syosset.
"She had been ill with MS for the past 26 years, and it crippled her, first making her unable to walk and ending with her as a quadriplegic," said her husband of 41 years. "But she never complained once about herself and was an active member of our family. She was smart as a whip and her mental acuity as sharp as could be. Everybody came to her for advice and counsel."
Daughter Alyssa Feinman, 36, of Astoria, said her mother "was the most selfless, caring person. Early in her sickness, when she was using a walker, she would never use a handicapped parking spot because she would say that there may be someone else who needs it more than she does."
Cerise Feinman and her parents moved from Brooklyn to Bethpage in the early 1960s. She graduated from Bethpage High School and Nassau Community College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Hofstra University in 1974 and was halfway through a master's program at what was then C.W. Post when she decided to concentrate on raising a family, her husband said.
Their son Matthew Feinman, 30, of Manhattan, said "her smile lit up my world," and her daughter Justine Feinman, 26 also of Manhattan, noted "her bright spirit and energy will always live on with each of us."
Thomas Feinman called his wife "an inspiration in courage and strength to all who knew her. She never lost being sweet and kind, and was a fighter up to the end."
A wake was held Tuesday at Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage. The funeral service was there Wednesday, with Msgr. James Perada presiding. Burial followed at the Pinelawn Mausoleum in Farmingdale.