McCREARY--Alissa. Alissa Reiner McCreary, died of cancer on October 16th at the entirely too young age of 49 at her home in New York City. Alissa was born on September 13, 1967 in New York City to Carol Travis Reiner and the late Sidney Reiner. She attended the Trinity School. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1989 with a degree in English, and was awarded the prestigious Hoopes Prize for outstanding scholarly work or research. Alissa obtained an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University in 1993 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1994. Between college and law school, Alissa attended culinary school at LaVarenne in Paris and studied Russian language at Moscow State University. Alissa's late father, Sidney, had been president of a New York-based travel agency that helped reopen the Soviet Union to American tourism during the Cold War. Throughout her life, Alissa was a passionate world traveler. Alissa married the love of her life, Trace McCreary, her law school classmate, on October 9, 1993. They lived in New York City where Alissa worked as an attorney at Davis Polk and Wardwell for a half dozen years. She took a professional break to stay home to raise her three wonderful children, Sophia, William and James. She later returned to work as General Counsel and then corporate executive for Halstead International, a private building products company based in Norwalk, CT. Her husband and three children were the greatest joys in her life. Alissa and her family traveled extensively to many exotic locales. She loved literature and read voraciously and was also a talented cook. A lifelong lover of animals, Alissa was devoted to and comforted by her two loyal golden retrievers, Maggie and Mia. She was charitably minded and gave her strong support to various educational institutions and other local causes and later became a passionate supporter of the Basser Center at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Passionate, funny, fiercely intelligent, powerful, brave and big-hearted, Alissa will be missed immeasurably by the many people who loved her. She is survived by her husband and children, as well as her mother Carol Reiner Stone, her sister Cornelia Reiner, her stepfather Norman Stone, and a large, loving extended family including numerous adorable nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held to honor Alissa's life on Wednesday, October 19th, at 1:30pm at Central Synagogue in New York City. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Basser Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
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