We write to share the sad news that Florence Forman, 92, passed away on October 17, 2023 having lived a long, happy and full life. Florence was the beloved mother of Joan Forman, mother-in-law of Steve Blumenthal, and cherished grandmother of Sarah Blumenthal (Jacob Forstater), Louisa Blumenthal, and Max Blumenthal (Sarah Kingston). Our condolences extend to her son Steven Forman (Liliana Marin), her eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Florence was predeceased by her beloved husband, Donald (z”l) and daughter Debra (z”l).
Shiva will be held at the Forman/Blumenthal home at 17 Moon Hill Road, Lexington on Sunday, October 22 from 2-5pm with a minyan at 4pm. Shiva will continue on Monday, October 23 and Tuesday, October 24 from 7-9pm with a minyan at 7:30pm.
My mother was born on August 24, 1931, in the Bronx to Bessie (Laikin) and Harry Sporn, the younger sister of Ruth (z”l). She was an avid reader as a child and when she enrolled in Brooklyn College, it was to become a teacher. She met Donald, the love of her life, in the Brooklyn College library. They got married in 1953 and soon thereafter, Donald was drafted into the Army. He got posted to Detroit, Michigan and eventually went to graduate school at Wayne State University on the GI Bill where Florence also studied for a Masters of Education.
They moved their family to Chicago where they lived for almost 20 years. Florence taught in the Skokie Public Schools. She was a beloved teacher and Reading Specialist, winning awards for her excellence as an educator. She was also a loving and supportive mother and wife. She spent time reading with her children, taking them to museums and libraries sparking lifelong interests. She was an early example of a working woman who cared deeply about her profession along with balancing the demands of family life.
In 1976, they relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina where Donald was a professor in the UNC Medical School and Florence resumed her full-time time teaching career. Throughout their marriage, they traveled extensively, often combining professional meetings with an extended stay just for pleasure. Sabbaticals in Europe provided even more opportunities to enjoy living abroad.
Upon Don’s retirement, Florence continued to teach part-time until she was 80 years old. They then launched a turtle rescue project starting with one Eastern Box Turtle, which they saved from a busy street. The turtle refuge, housed in a sheltered garden, grew to more than eight turtles, a children’s book and an interactive school program. Florence was the Chair of the Education Committee at Judea Reform Congregation for many years, always happy to lend her expertise to her community.
Wherever she lived, she developed deep and lasting relationships and had many friends. She was a highly intelligent, engaging conversationalist. As an extremely positive person, she always saw the good in someone or situation. She brought her passion for reading by starting short story groups. She also had a love for art, theater and dance. She made a beautiful home for her family and was always a stylish dresser. She deeply loved her grandchildren, their spouses and great-grandchildren and enjoyed traveling with them and sharing their lives.
We hold the Forman/Blumenthal family in our hearts and prayers at this difficult time. Letters of condolence can be sent to their home at 17 Moon Hill Rd. Lexington, MA 02421. Donations can be made in memory of Florence Forman to:
May the memory of Florence Forman be for a blessing.
A Graveside service will be held 12:00 p.m. Friday, October 20, 2023, at Judea Reform Congregation Cemetery. Officiating will be Rabbi John S. Friedman.