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Alan Silverstein

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Alan Silverstein Obituary
Alan Silverstein

1950-2014 Alan Silverstein, 63, of Stockbridge, died Monday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, after a long illness. Alan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on May 21st, 1950 to Jack and Vivian Silverstein. He had one brother, Kenneth, who predeceased him. He moved to the Berkshires in 1973, after graduating from American University in Washington, D.C. Alan Silverstein's career as a lifelong environmentalist began at the first organized demonstration against auto emissions, a full year before the very first Earth Day Celebration in 1970. He was a pioneer in the environmental movement in the Berkshires, joining the Center for Ecological Technology (CET) in 1978 where he met co-founder Laura Dubester. Laura and Alan married in 1992. For over 30 years Alan designed and managed many innovative energy efficiency, renewable energy and recycling programs. He played a key role in creating EcoBuilding Bargains. He has produced workshops, trade shows, regional forums and events and spearheaded community initiatives. As a member of the Massachusetts Recycling Task Force, he also helped to develop a statewide recycling strategy. He supervised CET's "Recycling to Build Community" in partnership with the Corporation for National Service a collaboration for which CET has served as host to more than 16 AmeriCorps VISTA members. His public service included board membership for MassRecycle and WasteCap of Massachusetts, the Energy Federation, Inc. and CET and he co-chaired the 11th Annual National Recycling Congress in Boston and the Non-Profit Recyclers Council of the National Recycling Coalition. He was also a founding member of the Stockbridge Green Team. He hosted a radio show on WBCR, "Earth Radio" for several years, discussing environmental issues and spinning some of his favorite (Dylan) tunes. After their joint retirement in public service in 2011 Alan and Laura were awarded honorary doctorates by Westfield State University, Alan's diploma reading in part, "[you are] an inspired advocate for a cleaner, more sustainable society, confronting inconvenient truths and environmental challenges with practical and affordable solutions, committed to enlightened action, energy efficiency, renewable energy, engaging communities and educating citizens." Alan was a passionate woodsman, outdoorsman and skilled athlete, bringing his unique presence to a wide range of activities: skiing, horseback riding, gardening, travel, golf and softball. He was one of the founders of the weekly Sunday softball game at Greene Park in Monterey, where his left-handed power hitting broke open many a game. Not to mention his stalwart fielding, which helped shut down many a rally by the opposing team. There was nothing to match the joy on his face when he made one of his patented sliding catches in the outfield. He was always a great sport, in sickness and in health. Everyone wanted to be on Alan's team. Prior to his work at CET Alan spent a year working outdoors in the government sponsored Challenge for Youth program, overseeing the building of shelters and cutting new trails on the Appalachian Trail. He was a self-taught artist who exhibited his work in a variety of galleries, including Razor Gallery in Soho, Spazi Fine Art in Housatonic, Gallery Jurka in Amsterdam and the Shade Gallery at The Bookstore in Lenox, which he co-founded with lifelong pals Jim Youngerman and Mike Ansell,. Not only did his close friends and family know and bask in the joy, gentleness, unfailing kindness of his manner in the world, but he had the unique ability to share these qualities with everyone whose path he crossed, finding the fun in everything he did, from work to play. His generosity ensured that that spirit was shared by all those around him. Alan was a veteran of the sixties and a lifelong advocate for peace and justice. There never was a sweeter man. Or more perfect gentleman. He is survived by his wife Laura, his mother Vivian, his nephew Larry Silverstein and wife Stefanie, his grand-nieces Sydney and Sloane, his goddaughters Shawnee and Sophie Tannenbaum, and godson Jake Weisman. FUNERAL NOTICE: The funeral services will be conducted Thursday January 23rd at Temple Anshe Amunim at 12 noon. Burial will follow at Stockbridge Town Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Leukemia Lymphoma Society in care of Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main Street, Lenox MA 01240 Shiva will be observed at 19A Cherry Hill Road in Stockbridge Thursday night from 6 to 9 pm and on Friday from 3 to 6 pm.


Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Jan. 22, 2014
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