Rebecca A. Orenstein

13 entries
  • "I was always awed by her passion and her commitment to..."
    - Margaret Jones
  • "I met Rebecca through dick myers she was such an..."
  • "To Rebecca's family, I am so sorry for your loss. When I..."
    - Brad Brown
  • "Dear Adam, My heart is broken. Please contact me if there..."
    - Velva Cooper
  • "Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories..."
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Rebecca Alexis Watkins Orenstein, 71, of Westminster, died Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, at Carroll Hospice's Dove House.

Born in Atlanta, Ga., in 1942, she was the oldest child of the late Louis and Ruth Watkins.

She lived in Westminster for the majority of her life, and embraced Westminster's way of life, people and the community. She was a graduate of Western Maryland College and had a photography studio. 

She embraced the grass-roots organizing model for many political, community and environmental issues. She was elected to the Westminster City Council in 1991. She was the first woman to hold a council seat in Westminster's 225-year history. She served on the council four years, focusing on recycling, historical preservation and making government more responsive to citizen concerns. She created a successful Saturday farmer's market downtown, encouraged the police to adopt innovative bicycle patrols and worked to protect the town's environment.

She was integral in forming the first Jewish congregation in Carroll County -- Beth Shalom, and helped organize the creation of the Montessori School in Carroll County.

She enjoyed spending time in Mexico. While there, she met many new friends and taught English at a school for Spanish speakers to learn English.

She was known to her grandchildren as "Becca" and enjoyed spending time with them. She also liked taking hikes, being with her pets, cooking and entertaining friends.

Surviving are son and daughter-in-law Adam and Jennie Orenstein; grandchildren Elijah Hansbrough, Genevieve and Vincent; and brothers Anthony and Michael Watkins.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Carroll Hospice, Dove House, 292 Stoner Ave., Westminster, MD 21157.

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Published in Carroll County Times on Sept. 4, 2013
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