By Sandra Birungi
Helen Kutsher of ‘Borscht Belt’ hotels has died aged 89.
According to family members, Kutsher died on Tuesday in a Philadelphia hospital where she had been living for several years. “She was more than the greeter, she was the heart of the hotel,” said her daughter Mady Prowler. “She always sent people birthday cards and had little gifts for the grandchildren. She made sure people felt that they were pretty special.”
Born Helen Wasser on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Helen first came to the Kutsher’s at 10 after her mother’s death. She then introduced her father to his future second wife, Rebecca Kutsher, a member of the family who ran the hotel. Helen Kutsher grew up at Kutsher’s, her children revealed.
Helen Kutsher married Rebecca Kutsher’s nephew, Milton Kutsher and had three children. Milton Kutsher died in 1998 and even after the death of her husband, she continued to work at the hotel into her 80s.
Kutsher’s was founded in 1907 in the Catskills and was known for serving up big portions of prime rib and blintzes and attracting entertainers like Tony Bennett and Milton Berle. Helen Kutsher was the face of the resort.
Her funeral is Thursday in Monticello.