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1921 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
WERBY, Elaine Penn An expert on housing and social policy; an inspirational teacher, mentor, and colleague; a tireless advocate for social justice; and beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother died on Sunday, June 5 in Cambridge. Born in 1921 in Springfield, Massachusetts, she is survived by her daughter Elisabeth Werby (Tony Jackson), her granddaughter Anna Silverberg (Bret), her grandsons Samuel Goldman (Sarah) and Jared Goldman, her step-grandson Greg Jackson, and her great-grandson Jacob Silverberg. She was predeceased by her husband, Jerry. Elaine's acute intelligence and concern for underserved communities helped to shape Boston's public housing policies and to integrate its housing projects during the "poverty wars" of the 1960s when she was Assistant Director of the Department of Tenant and Community Relations and later Chief of Social Policy at the Boston Housing Authority. In 1974, she joined the faculty of the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and as one its founding members, helped to develop CPCS's pioneering competency-based program and to establish the Masters' program in Human Services and the college's gerontology program. Following her retirement from teaching, she became a Senior Fellow at the University's Center for Social Policy (CSP) and worked on studies of housing and welfare reform policies until last year. At the CSP's 20th anniversary celebration in 2012, she was recognized as a ?Hero for Economic and Social Justice,' and an internship program was established in her name. Over her long career, she taught and mentored hundreds of students and colleagues, many of whom became life-long friends. She was appointed by two governors to the Massachusetts Home Mortgage Authority Board; served as chair of both Family Services of Greater Boston and Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly; and was on the Board of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts. She was a lover of books, politics, competitive scrabble, a good argument, and a glass of bourbon at the end of the day. A Funeral Service is scheduled for Tuesday, June 7 at 10:00 AM at Levine Chapels, 470 Harvard Street, BROOKLINE. Burial will follow in Sharon Memorial Park, 40 Dedham Street, Sharon. The family will be at her late residence following the service until 7:00 PM and on Wednesday from 10:00 to 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Elaine Werby Internship Program at the Center for Social Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston.

Levine Chapels, Brookline

(617) 277-8300

Published in The Boston Globe on June 6, 2016
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