PHYLLIS J. GOTLIB
1949 - 2018
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GOTLIB, Phyllis J. Age 68, passed away suddenly on January 17, 2018, due to complications from the flu. She was surrounded by her beloved children Rebecca, David and Deborah Frisch, their significant others and her brother Sumner Gotlib. She grew up in Bangor, Maine, and Brookline, Massachusetts, graduated from Brandeis University, received a Master's degree in applied piano from SUNY at Stony Brook and raised her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She was a loving mother, sister, aunt, grandmother to Jacob and devoted friend to many, especially her dog Pepper. Her life was filled with music, as an accomplished pianist and adored elementary school teacher. Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 19 at 11:00 a.m. at Temple Sinai, 1 Community Rd., Marblehead, followed by interment at Sharon Memorial Park. Contributions in her memory may be made to Massachusetts Humane Society, P.O. Box 850177, Braintree, MA 02185-0177 or via www.masshumane.org. Stanetsky-Hymanson Chapel 10 Vinnin St, Salem 781-581-2300 www.stanetskyhymansonsalem.com


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Published in Boston Globe from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18, 2018.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
JAN
19
Funeral service
11:00 AM
JAN
19
Interment
Sharon Memorial Park
Funeral services provided by
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Memories & Condolences
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55 entries
January 11, 2020
I think of Phyllis often. We shared a lot of holidays at Cheryl and Jack's House. Phyllis brought joy to every event. She and I laughed over stories about school. Both being specialists we had to. Run around the building. I can hear her beautiful laugh. If I miss Phyllis often and think of her I cannot even begin to understand how difficult it has been for Becca Davey. And Deb. I can say though that you three brought your mom the most joy. She was very proud of you.
We should all bring joy and love to our family and friends this month and think of Phyllis.
Freddi
Freddi Moskowitz
March 1, 2018
Dear Becca, David, and Debbie,
We just learned about your mother's recent and sudden death. We are so sad to hear of your loss. We haven't been in touch for a number of years, but fondly remember her warm smile and energy.
May the memories of good times shared bring you some comfort in the days ahead.
Linda and Mark Adler
Linda and Mark Adler
February 1, 2018
Summer, I just saw the obituary for Phyllis, and I am truly sorry to see that you lost your sister. Rene and I want to express our heartfelt sympathy to you and the family.
PETER Meshon
January 31, 2018
I heard this tragic news the day I was preparing for a trip and was heartsick not to be able to be at the service to mourn her passing. Having lost my husband very suddenly and way too soon, I can truly feel your sadness and your loss cuts me to the quick. Phyllis was an incredible friend and neighbor and such a proud mother and grandmother. I am so very sad for us all that we won't have her wonderful gift of laughter and friendship as she walks her Pepper here in our neighborhood. My sincerest condolences to her family.
Dori Lynch
January 29, 2018
May you Rest in Peace and your music play on.
adam orris
January 28, 2018
Dear Becca, David, and Debbie,

Reading through all the condolences, your mom's generous, kind spirit, beautiful smile, musical and teaching gifts come through. I am sure that you feel very proud to read the notes especially from parents and students. She was a teacher who will effect generations. I know that this is devastating and hurts like a knife in your hearts. It is very very difficult, and there are no words. I always loved being with Phyllis at Cheryl's house for holidays. She actually supported me a great deal these last years. I will never forget her feel so grateful to her. She was kind, wise, generous and upbeat. You all have a part of her in you. One lady told me if you sit very quietly, you can hear your loved one's voice and even figure out what they would be saying. I know that your mom was very very proud of you all and enjoyed all of her time with you. She loved being your mom. I am so very very sorry.
Sincerely,
Freddi
Freddi Moskowitz
January 27, 2018
I was Director of Art and Music for the town of Swampscott in 1999 and remember hiring Phyllis to replace a well loved elementary music teacher. I wanted someone warm and who would encourage the students to sing, but most of all, to love music.
Phyllis never disappointed me.

I was away when she died so unexpectedly and was shocked to hear the news. She made a huge impact on many lives so really her legacy lives on in our memories.

I wish to express my deepest sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues for this tragic loss.

Clayton Curtis
Clayton Curtis
January 27, 2018
Our sincere condolences to the Gotlib Family in the loss of your dear love one. Our prayers are as yours, that God provide his care and comfort you each day. - Ps 145:18,19
January 22, 2018
Phyllis was my customer for many years at Macys. She became more of a friend than a customer over the years. I will miss her smiling face.


Debbie
January 22, 2018
My condolences to the Gotlib family. May the God of comfort grant you strength during this difficult time and your lasting memories bring you joy.
January 21, 2018
Mrs. Gotlib was my teacher well over a decade ago, and I honestly don't have a few weeks go by without thinking of one of the songs we sang in her class and Mrs. Gotlib's sweet, sweet spirit. At the beginning of this past week, I was singing the children's song "Willaby Wallaby Woo" with my wife, which I learned in Mrs. Gotlib's class, and telling her what a wonderful lady she was. I couldn't believe when I heard just a few days later that she had passed away. What a loss to us all. She was patient, loving, and like a sweet mother or grandmother to all the children in our class. I am grateful to have had her influence brighten my life as a child, and I am sure she is still brightening the lives of others on the other side.
Trevor Adams
Student
January 20, 2018
R. I. P. Taken to soon! Sincere condolences to family.
Cheryl Harold
January 19, 2018
A respected colleague and gifted musician, Phyllis lit up the room with her smile and sincere warmth. It was a pleasure and an honor to have known her. The community has lost a great lady.
Carol Bush
January 19, 2018
I know Phyllis is up in heaven walking her dogs. I wish I was home to take part in her service. I have no words to express my sorrow. Such a great loss to her family, neighbors, friends and students.

Priscilla
Priscilla Burnaby
January 19, 2018
The Lord blessed us with a talented, kind and beautiful musician. You made a positive impact on our children and left a mark on each of their hearts. Their joy of music started with you and will continue on for years to come.
May God hold you in his arms and softly comfort all of your loved ones (and Pepper) through this difficult time. -Amen.
Cynthia and Angelina Blood/Nussle
January 19, 2018
Becca, David and Debbie, my sincerest sympathy on the loss of your beloved Mom. We knew each other for many, many years and every time I saw her she loved updated me with each of your accomplishments. I will miss her warm and loving smile.

Madeline Stark (Salem )
Madeline Stark
January 19, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with Phyllis's dear family. May your memories bring some measure of comfort and peace. My sincere condolences, Irene Dalton, SMS
January 19, 2018
Becca, Dave, and Debby, we are praying for your peace and comfort in these hardest of days. We are out of town, and are heartbroken over this news and that we can't be with you today. Phyllis has been a friend and colleague to my mother during her career in Swampscott. Along the way I came to be Pep's dog sitter. The gigs had a familiar pattern. I would go get the key and spend an hour catching up with Phyllis, and the same after she returned home. While I was staying at the house, i always enjoyed looking at the many happy pictures of you three that lined the hallway. Phyllis could not have been prouder of her kids. Please give the Pep a hug for me, too (if you can catch him). We send our warmest thoughts to you, and to all who loved Phyllis. We will think of her with a smile.
Janet and Margaret Fischer
January 18, 2018
Rebecca David and Debby
My thoughts are with you and your families during this difficult time.I will always remember your mother's kind smile and our wonderful morning camp conversations,parents nights on The island but most importantly how much she loved you all.Cherish such memories.My heart goes out to you.
Kim Sawin Staples
January 18, 2018
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January 18, 2018
Six years ago I graduated from Hadley Elementary and I can still vividly remember music class with Ms.Gotlib. I don't think I could ever forget it. From analyzing Adele, learning about famous composers like Mozart and Beethoven, chorus concerts and even seeing a professional orchestra live in Boston, I had fun through it all. I'll never forget that day I walked into Ms.Gotlib's class with tears still streaming down my face and without a moment to spare, she helped to comfort me. Back then, nobody knew I heard severe anxiety and nobody had been able to help me. Ms.Gotlib was one of the first people to ever successfully calm me down and I'll never forget that. Now a high school sophomore, I've been working ever since towards a musical career thanks to her and hopefully the hours I've spent in accappella practice, chorus and teaching myself various instruments will work out. And while I don't know if I'll ever make it in the music industry, I know I'll remember Ms.Gotlib through it all. I owe every one of my musical achievements to her.-Peyton Applegate
Peyton Applegate
January 18, 2018
Dear Becca, David and Debbie,
The Krasker family sends its deepest condolences. We have such wonderful memories of your mother. Her smile, her energy, and warmth are things we'll hold on to forever.
Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. May her memory be for a blessing. XOXO Julie, Susan & Amy
January 18, 2018
Mrs. Gotlib was so very kind and our daughter adored her. We send our deepest sympathies to her family and friends. She will be missed so very much.
Amy Tatem-Bannister
January 18, 2018
Mrs. Gotlib was one of my favourite teachers, and certainly one of the most influential. I don't know who I would be without having taken chorus since Hadley nor without a love for the craft of music. She was kind and passionate and patient. It's been close to 15 years since I lost saw Mrs. Gotlib, but I've carried her with me through every note I've sung.
My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with everyone who knew Mrs. Gotlib, and especially with her family, and her current students.
Hillary Lynch
January 18, 2018
Phyllis, my heart is aching. You're a very special person to us. We will miss you dearly and we hope that God comforts all who's in pain.
Giani and Paulo DaSilva and Crespo
January 18, 2018
I am so sadden to hear this news. I remember when I taught spinning at "the J" not so long ago, seeing Phyllis in the back row always with a smile as she pushed along. You could always tell when she liked a song playing because she would actually looked like she was enjoying herself!
She was always so positive; one of those people you just love having nearby. I was sometimes lucky enough to occasionally run into her when I would be walking my dog. She would yell out hello with a big enthusiastic wave and immediately pull over just to see how I was. Wow! Who does that?? All she wanted to know was how I was and that I was ok. I would think to myself, man, she really cares! Her little dog Pepper would be as engaging as she was; like two of a kind :) So sweet. She would always make a point to also ask how my kids were. She really made me feel like I mattered and she understood so well the struggles life can bring.
She is truly one of the kindest, most thoughtful people around.
My thoughts go out to her family. I have written this to share how important Phyllis has been in my life so that her family will know she will never be forgotten to those of us who were lucky enough to know her.
She will be very missed. I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Christine Palermo (was Gilligan)
Friend
January 18, 2018
We are so sorry for this heart breaking loss of your beautiful Mother
Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you navigate this loss into your lives. Our deepest sympathy to you all
Sincerely
Pete and Phyllis Tracy
.
Phyllis and Pete Tracy
January 18, 2018
Dear Becca, David and Debbie, All the Orenberg's and Waterberg's are so sad about your Mom's passing! We all adored your Mom and we will hold all our wonderful memories of her deep in our hearts. Phyllis was a wonderful woman who lit up every room she walked into with her smile or beautiful music! She left this world way too young, but she will be remembered forever!! RIP ❤❤
Joanne Orenberg
January 18, 2018
We send our profound sorrow to Phyllis's family. She was music, goodness and kindness. Her legacy will live on in her children, and all of us, who were lucky enough to know her.
Shalom, The Tatelman Family
January 18, 2018
Hi, this is one of your recent students, Sophia Potter. I know you recently passed away, but I would like to say thank you for being the great music teacher you were. You always made sure everyone knew all the lyrics to the song before we performed. You always had this amazing smile on your face that could brighten anyones day.
Knowing that I couldn't say goodbye to you broke my heart. You by far were one of my favorite teachers. You always made chorus so fun! You rarely raised your voice, and you were so kind to all of your students. Your songs were beautiful and peaceful. All you wanted was to make us happy, and look how far I've gotten. 5th grade!! Having you as my music teacher was a delightful experience and for everyone else who experienced it are very lucky. Not all kids get good teachers.
I'm grateful to have had you as my music teacher. You taught us well and you have made us strong. You have brought me this far. The very last day of school, I just wanted to go up to you and say, What's up? But now things are different. Mrs. Gotlib, thank you for being my friend.

Your student,
Sophia Potter.
Sophia Potter
Student
January 18, 2018
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January 18, 2018
We will truly miss Phyllis. I looked forward to seeing her walk by with Pepper and stopping by our house to have a chat. She was a great neighbor and an extraordinary individual. I will never forget her friendly welcome to the neighborhood when we first moved here, and how she always made the time to care about everyone. Dear Phyllis, until we meet again!
Margarita Aguilera
January 18, 2018
Ms. Gotlib taught me to love music at a very young age. Thank you for all of the wonderful memories. Your generosity and kindness never failed to shine.
Anthony Perilli
Student
January 18, 2018
Tiny person, HUGE spirit. I feel fortunate to have had Phyllis in my life as colleague, friend, and neighbor to my daughter's family. Her enormous grin and sparkling eyes expressed her love of life, family, music, children, faith, and community. Her spirit will live on in the hearts of many but especially in her true loves - Becca, David, Debby, and her treasure Jacob.
Anne Bowen
January 18, 2018
Mrs. Gotlieb taught all three of my children at Hadley and I remember her fondly for her enthusiasm and love of music and teaching.
I enjoyed our conversations about music, the arts (and all her dedicated preparation of the kids!!) after concerts and performances for the parents. What a lovely lady. Thank you for the beautiful memories, Phyllis.
Our sincerest condolences,
The Meninno Family
Christine Meninno
January 18, 2018
Phyllis was the neighbour to whom we felt the closest. We would see her regularly walking Pepper and she would often stop and chat. She was one of the first people who made us feel welcome when we moved here from Vermont in 2013. We were shocked and very saddened to learn of her passing.

Phyllis was a fine lady and we shall miss seeing her and Pepper walking together very much.

Cynthia, Yettive and Michael Crestohl
Michael Crestohl
January 18, 2018
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Jeff Walsh
January 18, 2018
We send our deepest sympathies to Ms. Gotlib's family and friends. My daughter was a new student at Clarke a few years ago. She cried upon hearing the news and said, Ms. Gotlib was one of the first teachers to make me feel special. I will always be grateful for the impression she made on my daughter. Our community lost a most beloved educator and role model. She truly was one of a kind.
Many Condolences,
Casey Rakhmanov
January 18, 2018
I am sending my sincere condolences to Phyllis' family and friends. My son, Marcus, was fortunate to have been in her music class for several years at Hadley and I was fortunate to know her both through Hadley and while working at the Tower Camp. I hope that her family finds comfort in knowing how many lives she touched positively through her music and kind heart.
Melanie Ransom
January 18, 2018
I had Mrs.Gotlib at Hadley school 17 years ago. I always remember her playing Für Elise on the piano in the Hadley School music room, I was amazed. It was my first introduction to music and it started something that will be with me forever. She always had such enthusiasm when it came to music. She beautifully portrayed classical music to elementary aged kids. I remember when we did an all school concert and she saw all the her former students who were in high school still involved in the music program, you could see the joy radiating in her eyes. The passion she had for teaching young children was incredible. It is something that I will remember forever. I'm heartbroken she was taken so young but she impacted so many lives in that time. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time.
Emily Howard
January 18, 2018
Prayers to all her friends and family. Both of my children had her at Haldey, what a talented women. She was so great with the children. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Calsimitto
January 18, 2018
My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Phyllis Gotlieb. Phyllis was such a caring and beautiful person inside and out. I was so thankful that my children got the opportunity to learn from Phyllis' music lessons at Hadley School (many years ago). My daughter was literally singing the Wabble Dee Do song with her friends the other night. They couldn't believe that they remembered every word and every arm movement after all this time. She will be sorely missed... but remembered by all!
Patti McTague
January 18, 2018
We've lost a beautiful person. Phyllis introduced and gave the gift of music to countless students who will cherish music and memories of Phyllis forever as memories will never die.
Tim Chilcott
January 18, 2018
Dear Rebecca, David and Deborah, I am so sad to hear about your mom's passing. She was a wonderful person and a delight to know. May her memory be a blessing. Sincerely, Sara Winer
January 18, 2018
I am heartbroken to hear this news. Phyllis was a wonderful friend and colleague when we worked together in Swampscott. My condolences to her family and friends. She will be missed.
Sharon LaRosa
January 18, 2018
Sumner, Rebecca, David and Deborah - Very sad to hear about Phyllis. In Bangor, she was my next door neighbor and would invite my sister and me over to her house. We enjoyed her talents as a pianist. Also, she would play rock and roll records and teach us how to dance. Fortunately, I happened to see her a couple of times in recent years. May your special memories help you cope during this difficult time.
Sheila Emple
January 18, 2018
My daughter Sara had Mrs. Gotlieb at Hadley and I talked with Phyllis often. She was a passionate teacher and advocate for children. My family's condolences to the extended Gotlieb family. A tremendous loss.
Kelly Cunningham
January 18, 2018
Wishing you all a garden of lovely memories,where you can find comfort and peace. I was always glad to see her every week,she would make it a point to stop by and chat I will miss her, we became friends at the Hadley 17 year's ago.With Sincere Sympathy. Elda
Elda Brewsterl
January 17, 2018
My sincere condolences to the Gotlieb and Frisch families on the sudden loss of Phyllis. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time.
Fran (Silbert) Hewitt
January 17, 2018
Many years of fond memories as Phyllis and I went through years and years of school together. A long hiatus, until we met again at our 50th High School Class reunion. What a wonderful time, but alas, far to short! We had made many promises of getting together again. Seems this was not meant to be - but I will hold tight the memory of that last hug and sweet kiss as we went back in the years to so much we shared. My heart throbs for her family, closest friends and many others who loved her. She was lost far to soon! Hold tight to your memories and know - she was loved by many! I am greatful for all we shared in school and during our reunion weekend. May you know, she made a difference in many lives! She will be dearly missed!
Lois Ann Holmes
January 17, 2018
My first thought when I heard this terribly sad news was of you, Becca, Davey and Debby, and of Scott and Jakey. This past year your Mom and I started talking almost daily, and most often we talked about our children and grandchildren. It's hard to imagine how her small body could hold so much love, so much love for all of you and still have volumes left over for countless others. I never heard your mother say an unkind word about anyone. The only consolation I can offer my aching heart is that I feel so blessed for having your mother in my life. I will always remember how good she was and will honor her memory by trying to be as good as her.
Kendall Clark
January 17, 2018
Both of my kids had Phyllis as their teacher and I had Phyllis as my spin class friend. She was always upbeat and a ray of sunshine. I am so shocked and saddened. Her children should be very proud of their mom and her always sunny disposition.
Gail Goldberg
January 17, 2018
Phyllis will be missed as a member of our Jcc community! Her warmth and kindness followed her everywhere. So very sad. I remember the days when she came up to the JRC with her students to play and sing for the adult day health. Always giving to our community. She will be missed.
Marcy Yellin
January 17, 2018
Becca, Davie and Debby -I only had the pleasure of meeting Phyllis once, at Becca's wedding, and remember her exuberance and how sweet and friendly she was for never having met me before. We are all holding you in our hearts and keeping a candle lit to honor your mother and wish her a peaceful transition, and to send you love during this sad and unexpected time. Please know we are thinking of you every moment.Love,Emma, Bobby and Ayla
Emm Frisch
January 17, 2018
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived. I had Mrs. Gotlib when I was in elementary school as a teacher. To this day I still have found memories of her. May she rest in peace
Tiana Delano
Student
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