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1921 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
ARONOW, Alice Pearlman 1921 -- 2016 Alice Aronow (Alice Esther Pearlman) aged ninety-five, died on November 4, 2016. She was predeceased by her husband of seventy-two years, Saul Aronow, and is survived by her six children Victor Aronow (Jeanne Frieden), Fred Aronow (Harriet Aronow), David Aronow (Janet Rustow), Nathan Aronow (Benita Danzing), Louisa Aronow (Sandy Turner), and Jessie Kravette (Randy Kravette). Alice was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and was always involved in creating art, as well as making music, engaging in politics, writing, and being involved with other people. She learned at an early age to take concrete, direct action when she thought the cause was right. In high school, in the depths of the Depression, she walked both black and white neighborhoods of Brooklyn, ringing doorbells, canvassing for signatures on a petition to get Jackie Robinson signed onto the Dodgers. She saw what was happening during the Depression and the rise of Fascism in Europe, and she joined the Young Communist League, supported Communist Party candidates, and raised money for the support of the Spanish Republican government and the American volunteers who had gone to fight in Spain. After high school she was accepted at Cooper Union Institute for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences, and graduated with a specialization in textile design. She married Saul Aronow, a Cooper graduate in Electrical Engineering, and they moved to a small veteran's house in Watertown and then to a big, old house in Newton Corner. While raising children, Alice continued all of her interests, especially her art work, branching out into wood block printing on paper and fabric, designing enamel jewelry, free lance advertising, painting, and drawing. Through the post-war red-baiting period and after she also continued her principled activity in politics and commitment to the welfare and dignity of all people. She worked for the election of the Progressive Party's Henry Wallace for President in 1948, and Vincent Hallinan in 1952, as well as anti-nuclear war actions, civil rights, Voice of Women, ending the war in Vietnam, Amnesty International, and many other progressive, anti-war, pro-justice, earth-friendly causes. She also expanded her keen interest in folk music and was a founding organizer of the Folksong Society of Greater Boston. She and Saul participated in FSSGB events over a span of 55 years, and their home was frequently the location for music gatherings. Her knowledge of folk and popular music was legendary, as were her singing and duets with Saul. She had a wide circle of friends and an even wider circle of people whose lives she touched: young people for whom her home was a safe temporary haven and older people who benefited from her ability to listen, meet them on their own terms, and apply her critical skills. She especially enjoyed getting to know people very different from herself and understanding how the world was for them. Always curious, always using her critical faculties, always critical of herself for not doing enough, always ready to voice an opinion and consider alternatives, she found a wonderful cohort of friends in a group called Outrageous Women – OW. As the children grew, her art work focused on drawing, silk screen printing, and on teaching these subjects. She was associated with the Cambridge Art Association, the Brookline Arts Center, The Newton Art Center, of which she was also a founding member, and the Newton Community School Program. She produced editions of her own work and also posters for demonstrations. She had a great appetite for discovering interesting things other artists were doing, working consciously to expand her thinking about what a painted, assembled or drawn image might be. Whether traveling or at home, she was continually sketching and taking photos as notes and springboards for her work back in her studio. A 75-year retrospective of her work was presented as a one-woman show at Lasell Village, where she was residing, in 2015. Beside the satisfaction of dealing with the materials and design elements for their own sake, the catalyst in her work was her strong feeling about human-kind in relation to all other living and non-organic elements of our planet. Increasingly influenced by what she was learning of Native American cultures and by the physical presence of the Southwest, her work more and more reflected her love and concern for the beauty and fragility of the elements that make this Earth our home. The spirit of all the elements of her life and passions are carried on by her six children, eleven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, innumerable nieces and nephews, and the many people whose lives she touched with her music, her art, her wit, her critical faculties, and her compassion. Her life and her work are a testament to one person's ability to be a part of making "a shenere un besere velt" – a better and more beautiful world. Funeral and memorial service at the Wilson Chapel at Hebrew College and Newton-Andover Theological School at 234 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA, beginning on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10:00am. Interment at the New Jewish Deed Holders Cemetery at 232 Fuller Street, Everett, MA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Village Health Works www. villagehealthworks.org).

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Published in The Boston Globe on Nov. 5, 2016
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