Linda March was tired of New York’s Upper West Side. She had survived a bout of COVID-19 there in 2020 and was worried that crime was getting worse in her neighborhood.
So in March she did what New Yorkers often do: She moved to South Florida.
March, 58, who rented the penthouse at Champlain Towers, died when the oceanfront Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. She was recovered on July 5 but was one of the last victims to be identified by Miami-Dade Police.
March, who was divorced, had lived in the Miami area before she moved to Surfside and couldn’t wait to return, said her childhood friend Rochelle Laufer.
March attended Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law and served as Administrative Law Judge at the NYC Environmental Control Board. She supported Jewish causes and, after her sister died of cancer, she began to support cancer research as well.
She was passionate about Judaism, her friend Selwyn Singer told Chabad.org, adding that he and March planned to go to a Torah study class in Aventura scheduled for a week after the collapse.
“She’s been a great supporter of Israel and the Jewish people,” he said.
A fresh start
“She loved the outdoors,” Laufer said. “When she was in New York, she was in a small apartment. In Miami she had a pink bicycle, and she’d ride all around. She loved walking on the beach. She was very into exercise and working out in the sunshine. She felt life would be better in Florida. It was a fresh start.”
March was planning to buy a condo but decided to rent for a year first. When another friend recommended Champlain Towers and said there was a unit open, she jumped at the opportunity.
“She sent me pictures of the apartment. The place was beautiful, oceanfront, with beautiful views,” said Laufer, who grew up with March in Brooklyn and has known her since second grade. “The one thing she complained about was the construction. It started at 8 in the morning and kept going all day.”
Still, living on the beach made March, an attorney and real estate professional who worked with clients in New York and Miami, happy.
“She loved going out to dinner and socializing,” said Laufer, who added that March had lost her sister Lisa to cancer around eight years ago and that both of her parents had passed away. “She was very bright and always smiling. She was sunshine-y. You’d see her and smile and laugh together. She was very extroverted, always talking to people. She had things to be sad about, but she was happy. ... She’s like a sister to me.”