May 23, 1936 - February 26, 2019
Liana Ljuba Epstein Barenblat was born on May 23, 1936 in Prague to a Czech mother, Alice Fried Epstein, and a Russian medical student, Isaac Epstein. They emigrated to New York in 1939, traveling on the S.S. President Harding, and lived with relatives in a tenement apartment. She learned English quickly and helped translate for her parents.
Summer camp was among the highlights of her childhood. For several years she attended Camp Windywood in Fishville, Louisiana, where as the only Jewish camper she played the accordion every Sunday morning for church services. Then she went to camp near Biloxi, Mississippi, where, after numerous attempts, she passed her junior lifesaving test. At age 15 she went to Camp Bonim, which was modeled on an Israeli kibbutz, and where she fell in love with the bugler, whom she married four years later. Liana and Marvin were married for 64 years.
She graduated from Temple High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where (in her own words) she "got an MRS degree and had a great time."
Liana was deeply devoted to family. Her five children and eleven grandchildren were her greatest joys. With her husband Marvin she traveled the world, including Europe, Asia, and Australia. She was also deeply devoted to a broad and diverse circle of friends. She loved to entertain, and celebrated every moment that life allowed.
In her words, "In addition to travel I love: a good party, music, the Pritikin Longevity Institute, bridge, contemporary art, Israel, the moon, and the Big Dipper. I wish I had written a book, learned to tap-dance, and mastered French, which I failed in college. I am blessed with an amazing family and incredible friends, gifts which I appreciate every day. My Judaism has always enriched my life and provided moral and spiritual guidelines."
Liana is survived by her husband Marvin; her children Bruce, Brad and his wife Sheri, Scot, Melissa and her husband Ron, and Rachel; and eleven grandchildren.
Following a private burial, there will be a public memorial service at Temple Beth El on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 11:30am with reception to follow at Temple Beth El. Shiva will be observed on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at the Barenblat family home, with minyan at 7:00pm.
Donations in her memory may be sent to any charity that is meaningful to you.
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Published by San Antonio Express-News on Feb. 27, 2019.