Obituary: Lillian (Swartz) Pearlstein

Beloved teacher, wife, mother and grandmother Lillian (Swartz) Pearlstein passed away Sept. 21, 2012 at the age of 90. Visiting hours will be at the home of Cara and Michael Massey through Sunday evening and also on Monday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.


Lillian (Swartz) Pearlstein, 90, of Swampscott, Massachusetts passed away on September 21, 2012.  She was the daughter of Ida and Morris Swartz.  She was also the devoted wife of the late John Pearlstein with whom she shared 46 years of marriage.

Mrs. Pearlstein spent her early years in Gloucester, Massachusetts, later attending schools in Malden and graduating from Boston University undergraduate and graduate schools, with degrees in foreign languages. 

She was a beloved teacher of Latin, French and Spanish as well as mathematics.  Her career included teaching at Tewksbury High School, Beebe Junior High School in Malden, Hillel Academy in Swampscott, Lynn English High School and Eastern Junior High in Lynn.  After formally retiring in 1987, she continued to work as a substitute teacher and tutor for the Swampscott public schools well into her 80s.

She was a member of Temple Israel and Temple Shirat Hayam, Swampscott; Hadassah; B’nai Brith; and the Massachusetts Retired Teachers Association.

Lillian Pearlstein is survived by three daughters, Meryl Pearlstein of New York City; and Debra Pearlstein and Cara Massey, both of Swampscott. She was the grandmother of four grandsons, Evan and Elias Wacht of New York City; and Justin and Trevor Massey of Swampscott.  She is also survived by a brother, Philip Swartz of Peabody.

Mrs. Pearlstein wrote in her autobiography, “I know I have made a difference because I lived.  To live on in the hearts of those you love is to not die.  The passion of my life was teaching, because a teacher affects eternity; a teacher can never tell where her influence stops.  I always looked for the best in others and gave the best I had to my family and my students.  My purpose in life was to foster the love of learning.  I also believed that doing what you love ennobles you.” 

Lillian Pearlstein will be missed by her family and the many students she inspired during her more than 60-year teaching career.


A Funeral service was hed Sunday, September 23, 2012 at Stanetsky-Hymanson Memorial Chapel, 10 Vinnin St, SALEM, MA. Interment followed at Cong. Shirat Hayam Cemetery, Temple Israel section, Lowell St, Peabody. Visiting hours will be at the home of Cara and Michael Massey immediately following interment through Sunday evening also on Monday from 11AM-8PM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her memory to Hospice of the North Shore and Greater Lynn, 78 Liberty St, Danvers, MA 01923 or to the American Heart Association, 20 Speen St, Framingham, MA 01701.  

A celebration of Mrs. Pearlstein’s life will also be held at the home of Meryl Pearlstein and James Wacht in New York City on Sunday September 30 from 12-6.  


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