Esther Ferris, the mother of Fox News host and former Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro has died at the age of 90.
Pirro announced the news on her social media accounts. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Graham Funeral Home in Rye for the native of upstate Elmira.
"She was my muse, my hero," Pirro said of her mother. "I have lost my best friend. My mother stood up for the victim, for the abused, before it was vogue. She was a great influence on me and everyone around her. She took care of the people who couldn't take care of themselves."
Ferris was a passionate volunteer in her community, serving as a Pink Lady at St. Joseph's Hospital, and in the Women's Auxiliary at the Arnot Art Museum. Ferris won first prize in the Elmira Garden Tour at the age of 88. "She taught me how to fight for the underdog," Pirro said. The former DA described her mother as "spry" who managed her families properties and would even help shovel snow, doing tasks right up until she became ill.
Ferris was born in Cortland, grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, and returned to the U.S. to spend most of her life in Elmira, where Pirro and her sister, Mary Louise Gershowitz, grew up. Esther spent time in New York City as a model. "She was a very beautiful person, both inside and out," Pirro said. Esther leaves behind her sister's, Jeanine Shahin (Syracuse), Nelly Charlies (San Francisco), Edna Mizher (Lebanon), and her two grandchildren, Cristine Pirro Schwarzman, Esq. and Alexander Ferris Pirro, both of Manhattan.
The viewing will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 26 at The Graham Funeral Home, on Boston Post Road in Rye. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 27 at 9 AM at St. John Paul II at Immaculate Conception Maronite Catholic Chuch, on North Broadway in Sleepy Hollow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that contributions be made on behalf of Esther Ferris to Chemung County SPCA, 2435 NY-352, Elmira, NY 14903.
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