Friday, August 11, 2017
Alberta Friedenberg Eiseman, a longtime Westport resident, died March 27 in Burlington, Vermont. She was 91.
Born in Venice, Italy in 1925, she and her family left their home in 1939 in response to Mussolini’s increasingly repressive racial laws, living in England before immigrating to New York in 1941.
She graduated from Cornell University in 1945 and pursued a career in writing and journalism that paralleled her ever-evolving interests.
As a member of the editorial staff on the newly-minted Seventeen Magazine, she wrote book reviews and features.
When daughter Margot was born, she went on to work from home, publishing nine children’s books on topics ranging from llamas, to whirligigs, to immigration.
She spent the last 20 years of her career writing extensively for the travel and Connecticut sections of The New York Times, and producing articles and curating exhibits for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.
In service to her never-ending curiosity, she zipped from one end of Connecticut to another in ALBE, her red Saab sedan.
She married Alfred Eiseman in New York in 1946 and moved from New York City to Westport in 1953.
Together they raised a family, traveled the world, gardened, sailed, formed lasting friendships, and reveled in the beauty of Long Island Sound.
While some considered the Sound too cold for swimming much of the year, Alfred and Alberta took their first swims in May and their last on Oct. 8, Alfred’s birthday.
As champions of civic involvement, social justice and civil rights they were instrumental in conceiving The Intercommunity Camp, formed in 1968 in response to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.
Petite and energetic, Alberta was a fan of all things Westport. She served for many years on the library board and was an active member of the local Democratic Party.
Considered by family to be the unofficial mayor of Compo Beach, she could be seen walking its shores daily, regardless of the weather.
Those who knew Alberta will remember her gift for friendship, ever-gracious manner, joie de vivre, love of the outdoors, keen understanding of history, and intense interest in everyone’s story.
Her children and grandchildren are grateful for the loving example set by both Alfred and Alberta, and fondly recall many lively family conversations as Alberta held court from her perch across the kitchen counter.
She was predeceased by her husband Alfred Eiseman, her daughter Margot Eiseman, and her partner Harv Franzel. She is survived by her daughter Nicole Eiseman (Paul), grandchildren Lilian Fitch (Hans-Christian), and Jack Visco (Alexa) and great-grandson Zahavi; son-in-law Robert Benedict (Susan); grandchildren Rachel Benedict and Laura Benedict (Mike) and great-granddaughter Margot.
A gathering in her honor will be held Saturday, Sept. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rive Bistro, 299 Riverside Ave. Please join us.
Posted 08/11/17 Permalink