1925 - 2012
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Bernice S. Luskin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. She lived in Bermuda and northern New Jersey before settling in Connecticut in 1966. She died at Meadow Ridge in Redding on September 17; she was 87 years old.
The daughter of Rebecca (Furgang) and Samuel Spikol, Bernice was the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college. She earned a BA from Brooklyn College and a Master's of Education from Teacher's College at Columbia University. She taught special education in the Westport (Connecticut) school system for many years.
In addition to her professional work, Bernice was an active volunteer in her community. As a member of the League of Women Voters, she participated in the get-out-the-vote effort to help pass the legislation that made the Teaneck, New Jersey, school district the first in the nation to achieve voluntary integration in 1965. She served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Westport (Connecticut), as well as a volunteer for Parents as Teachers, a program she helped develop.
On her twenty-first birthday, she married Bernard Luskin, of East New York, with whom she travelled the world, visiting over thirty countries across six continents. In the late 1960's, Bernice took up downhill skiing, a sport she enjoyed for nearly forty years, many of them in Stowe, Vermont.
Her husband of 66 years survives. Together they raised four children. Her loss is mourned by her children and their spouses: Michael Luskin and Judith (Levine) Luskin of Scarsdale, N.Y.; David Luskin and Claire Bender of Breckenridge, Colo.; Deborah Luskin and Timothy Shafer of Newfane, Vt.; Jonathan Luskin and Leslie Katz of San Francisco, Calif. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, David and Joan Spikol of Connecticut and Vermont. Bernice was a beloved grandmother to Sarah (Luskin) Stern of Brookline, Mass.; Rachel Luskin of Los Angeles, Calif.; Miriam Shafer of Northampton, Mass.; Naomi Shafer of Louisville, Ky.; and Ruth Shafer of Burlington, Vt. In addition, she is survived by two great-grand daughters, several nieces, nephews and their many children.
In lieu of memorial gifts, Bernice would urge all mourners to read, to be informed, and to vote.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Sept. 19, 2012