BURLINGTON, Vt. - Anita Rubin Siegel King died Feb. 13, 2013, in the Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center, following declining health.
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She was born Feb. 8, 1916, in New York City and was raised there and in Woodmere, Long Island.
Anita was predeceased by her parents, Maxwell and Celia (Cohen) Rubin and her younger sisters, Joan Herzberg and Fay Cooper.
She graduated from Smith College in 1937 and obtained a certificate in social work from Columbia University. In 1939, Anita married Victor Siegel leading to her two children, Andrew Siegel and Claire Oppenheim.
After 12 years, their marriage ended in divorce and she became an advertising research account executive in New York City. Some years later she was married to Rufus King for a short period of time, resulting in her moving to Washington, D.C. There she began working for National Institute of Mental Health, in the Children's Service Division, traveling the country and developing programs for children and families who were underserved and ethnically diverse.
Commuting to Philadelphia, she trained with Salvador Minuchin, the family therapist, and began her own clinical therapy practice. She moved to Williamsburg, Mass., in 1987 and continued psychotherapy private practice. She developed and ran groups for the separated and divorced. She retired from this when she was in her early 90's.
Throughout her life, political activism was important to Anita, starting with the presidential campaign of Henry Wallace in 1948 and continuing through a variety of peace and antinuclear organizations. She then turned to her concern with worldwide population growth and its attendant problems. Through the Western Massachusetts Sierra Club, she developed a population committee which emphasized working with students from the five colleges in the Pioneer Valley, training them to be activists and bringing internationally recognized speakers to Smith College campus on subjects related to population and environmental concerns.
In addition to enjoying travel, she was a life long lover of classical music and attended many live symphonic and instrumental concerts. She also loved entertaining and bringing friends together for energetic conversation. She was a role model for younger women.
In 2011, she moved to the Converse Home in Burlington to be near family. She is survived by her son Andrew Siegel and wife Ene Piirak of Burlington; her daughter Claire Oppenheim and husband David Oppenheim of Heriot Bay, British Columbia; her grandson Eric Siegel and his wife Maria de Fatima Callou of Rio de Janeiro; and her granddaughter Rachel Siegel and her husband Jules Fishelman and their two children, Gertie and Ira. They will all miss her greatly. She is also survived by her step-grandchildren, Aili and Marika Dalton and their spouses Jason Gorzyck and Greg Maino, respectively, and step-great-grandchildren, Liivo and Asta Gorzyck all of Burlington. In addition, she leaves behind her devoted former daughter-in-law Lisa Schamberg and her husband Pat Robins of Burlington; her brother-in-law Mel Herzberg and his children, Peter, Andrew and Kenneth all of New York City; as well as another nephew Jon Cooper of Washington, D.C. remain behind.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Converse Home, Fletcher Allen Health Care Hospital and Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center, all in Burlington, for their care and attention to Anita.
There will be a grave side interment and memorial gathering at Temple Israel Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2013.
Contributions may be made in her name to the Sierra Club, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth) and/or Population Media Center (of Shelburne, VT).
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 15, 2013