FRIEDBERG, Phyllis Jan. 13, 1924-Feb. 5, 2013 Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, passed away in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 89. Phyllis's keen intellect and passion for learning blossomed at an early age. She read widely and voraciously, astounding family and friends with her vast store of knowledge, and developed a lifelong love of history. She attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York, where she excelled in Latin. As a young woman, Phyllis's adventurous spirit carried her to a summer in Mexico City, where she learned to speak fluent Spanish and met the renowned painter Diego Rivera and his wife, Frida Kahlo, also a renowned painter. Visiting Los Angeles afterwards, she fell in love with the city's wide open spaces at that time. She attended USC and UCLA, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in History, and thereafter earned a Master's degree in History and her teaching credentials. She began her teaching career in Hollywood at Franklin Avenue Elementary School, where she taught History to 5th and 6th Graders, many of whom remembered her with fondness in their adult years. In later years, she used her considerable skills to teach English as a Second Language to Russian immigrants in Los Angeles. She married Herman in 1956 in Los Angeles, giving up her teaching career and devoting herself to her family, which moved to Beverly Hills in 1967. Phyllis developed a passion for gardening, and, true to character, she acquired an encyclopedic knowledge about plants and flowers. She spent many happy hours growing and admiring her garden. Phyllis had a strong character, and formed a lasting impression on everyone she met. She is survived by her sons Jim (Susie) and Tom (Sarah); her grandsons Jason and Austin; her sister Muriel; her nieces Barbara and June (Stephen); and her nephews Jon and Robert. Her family will cherish her memory always, and know that her spirit will continue to guide them for the remainder of their days. Services will be held on Sunday, February 10, 2013, at 1:00 pm at Mount Sinai Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Dr., Los Angeles 90068 (800-600-0076).
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 9, 2013