Marilyn Rosenthal (Lynne) Loeb

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Loeb Rosenthal,

Marilyn (Lynne)

Rochester: 1930- 2012, from complications of thyroid cancer first diagnosed in 1989. Lynne lived a life full of curiosity about almost everything. Born in The Bronx, she attended Bronx public schools, and then Barnard College (BA Chemistry), Bryn Mawr College (MA Biology) and The University of Pennsylvania Medical School (Ph.D., Biochemistry). Throughout her education and career she was the fortunate recipient of encouragement and mentoring by teachers both male and female. Her love of science remained with her throughout her life. . Although she chose not to work when her children were young (she soon realized that child-rearing, although joyful and personally rewarding, is among the hardest and most challenging work there is), she became a devoted researcher later in life, mostly as a faculty member for sixteen years in the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Rochester Medical School, a place she found supportive and collegial. While at UR, she served on the Faculty Senate and on the Medical School Admissions Committee; she formed a temporary ad hoc committee on personal safety for employees, mentored physicians, and undergraduate and graduate students and senior visiting scientists in the basics of laboratory research. Her own research centered on the role of cell surface molecules in diseases caused by bacteria that infect young children and in the characterization and evaluation of vaccines used to prevent such often deadly disease, resulting in 30 publications. She also assisted in the evaluation of grant proposals written by other scientists. As a scientist at a time when this was still unusual for women, she and some other female colleagues took the risk in the early '70s of requiring their place of employment in Philadelphia to supply comparative information on salary and promotion opportunities for males vs. females; the large discrepancies revealed were soon addressed, as required by law. She also successfully sued to have a grievance procedure put in place. Through these efforts and those of many others, females started entering the profession in considerably larger numbers. One of Lynne's major satisfactions in life was to see not only this large increase, but also the self-confidence these younger women exhibited and the success they soon achieved, in large part because the barriers had come down. This was a big generational change and one she was gratified to be a part of.

Most of her other interests she shared with her spouse, Al Loeb (deceased in 2006). They had a long and happy marriage whose interests, pleasures and devotions included parenthood of Emily Loeb, Judith Whitaker and Andrew Loeb, grandparents of Leon, Caleb and Maya; politics as life-long Democrats, long-time members of the ACLU; participation in the civil rights movement in the 60's, including purchase of their first home in the only post-war suburban development (of 150 homes) in the entire Philadelphia area where African Americans could buy an inexpensive post-war home (Nearby Levittown, PA had 17,000 homes, none of which were then available to African Americans.) The couple also was active in helping African Americans purchase homes in neighborhoods illegally closed to them by custom; in supporting adoption of unwanted Korean children abandoned by their U.S. servicemen fathers. In 1965 Al Loeb participated in the March from Selma to Montgomery, and took photographs that are classics of that historic time.

She and her spouse were truly blessed by a wonderful and remarkable set of friends, many a generation younger, who helped the couple through Al's difficult last 15 months of life and then through the years of Lynne's widowhood.

The couple's other shared interests were the arts (music, theatre, dance), travel, but also their outdoor experiences which included canoeing and hiking 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, canoeing through the beautiful canyons of the Green River in Utah, hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and also to the Havasupai Reservation in the Grand Canyon, and canoeing in their beloved Adirondacks, especially on Newcomb Lake and at Rollins Pond. And, almost every September, until 2001, they tent-camped at Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park, an American treasure of remarkable beauty. Lastly, frequent canoeing close to home on nearby beautiful and tranquil Canadice Lake gave them many days of pleasure.

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Aug. 26, 2012
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