Pearl Kreisberg
Pearl Kreisberg
Pearl Kreisberg
Pearl Kreisberg

Obituary of Pearl Kreisberg

Pearl Kreisberg, born Pearl Klein on Monday, January 4th, 1932, passed away peacefully at a nursing home where she lived her final years in Winchester, MA. She passed on Wednesday April 29th, 2020, due to complications from the COVID 19 pandemic. She lived to be 88 years old. Pearl was born to Eastern European Jewish immigrant parents Sam Klein and Lena Hasner, owners of a butcher store, and was raised in Depression era Bronx, NY. She was the youngest of six children, two of whom were killed in a tragic truck/train accident in Great Barrington, MA, prior to her birth. Older siblings Ann, Sonny and Jack survived. Her heart broken parents never really recovered from the loss of their two young daughters Ruth and Sylvia, and sunk into poor health and depression, her mother passing first, when Pearl was 14 and her father at 16. She was left in the care of her older siblings until she was of age to strike out on her own. Returning from a summer camp job in the Catskills at 17, she discovered her sister Ann had married and moved, to where Pearl followed and lived until she could manage to begin her adult life. Working as a retail buyer in Manhattan’s 7th Avenue Fashion District, in the early 1950s, with lunch at the Automat and “playing the numbers” in office pools, she found herself one day boarding a construction elevator to the upper floors of a skyscraper under construction, to collect the winnings from a daily “numbers” wager. Today we would call it playing the lottery. On a chance blind double-date with her friend and mischief maker Yvette, she ended up in the back seat of a car with Gerald Phillip Kreisberg, a U.S. Marine Corp. vet, also from the Bronx, back from Korea and studying stenography to become a court reporter. They were married on January 29th, 1956, and until Jerry’s passing in 2013, 57 years! Following Jerry on court reporting jobs, the couple left the Bronx for various destinations, including Utica, NY, where their first daughter was born in 1959 and Miami, where a son shortly followed in 1961. They eventually ended up in Ulster County, with Jerry working for NY State Supreme Court, and in 1964 they settled in Woodstock, purchasing a house in Maverick Park. The 1960’s found Pearl and Jerry creating and living the American Dream, having risen from poor immigrant roots in the inner city, and moving to the idyllic countryside of the Catskill Mountains, owning their own home and property. It was something that probably just happened and wasn’t really planned or thought about. That it could happen was nothing short of a miracle. During the sixties, they hosted inner city Fresh Air Fund children to join their family during summers at their home in Woodstock, as a way of paying it forward. The youngest daughter was born in 1969. Then it was on into the 70s, with Woodstock hippie flower power culture taking root in the mainstream. Though she loved the Beatles and creativity of the era, it was more Sinatra and Streisand who spoke to her and Pearl did not embrace the counterculture. She remained true to herself, and her responsibilities as a wife, mom and adult. She embraced energetic involvement and activity, volunteering for Family of Woodstock, PTA and involved with endless school projects and extracurricular pursuits with her three growing kids. She also did volunteer physical therapy patterning for the brain injured and was involved with consumer advocacy with husband Jerry, forming and belonging to the local active chapter of Irate Consumers. The seventies and eighties brought nuclear family life with yearly holiday celebrations, family visits, vacations, dinner parties and growing social bonds with a tight knit group of local friends and neighbors. Daily morning walks to town for coffee and frequent Mahjong games, became a routine with the wonderful friends she had. The nineties and beyond brought retirement and travel, continuing many decades-long friendships, watching grandchildren grow and snow-birding in Florida during winters, with close friends from the Woodstock/Kingston area. Pearl valued education and strived to instill that importance in her children. She became a strong advocate for adult education and returned to school, earning a SUNY degree in her late 50s, which allowed her to return to work in education, once her children were grown. She worked at the Rhinebeck Union Free School, working with disadvantaged youths for nearly 10 years, rising from teachers’ aide to Librarian, before retirement. Most of all, Pearl is remembered as a sweet, loving, friendly, kindhearted, gem of a good person, whose brightness and energy will shine on strongly forever in our hearts and thoughts. They say finding a pearl is one in a million, and that's exact what our mother was, a one in a million mom. Pearl was predeceased by her husband Jerry in 2013 and is survived by her three children, Shari and husband Kurt, Debra and wife Sheryl, and Glenn and wife Stephanie, as well as, four grandchildren, Sam and Hannah, Jason and Sophie, and nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Fresh Air Fund Private services will be held in the Gerald BH Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.
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