Memorial Statements

Seattle Times obituary

New York Times obituary
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Barnard Magazine memorial

Northwest Folkdancers memorial


Memorial ceremony: Part 1 (24 minutes)  Part 2 (29 minutes)
These testimonials are full of gems, and the videos include lots of old photos we have unearthed.

Folks have been asking if Eleanor had a favored charity to accept donations in her memory. Women’s rights and the environment were very important to her. If you wish to make a contribution in her name, please consider any of these groups:

Help build a powerful climate movement.

National Network of Abortion Funds

Keep Our Clinics, for those providing assistance to independent clinics (the clinics that provide most abortions)

Plan C Pills, to make pill abortions more available

Age 14

Age 20, Barnard graduation

Eleanor Lippman, 1920-2021
An Appreciation

Our mother, Eleanor Gans Lippman, died peacefully on September 26, 2021 at home in Cresskill, New Jersey. She was 101.

Eleanor Lippman was “Mom” to each of us for some 70 years. She had a profound impact on us four boys, or five including Dad.

Mom was born in the Bronx in 1920 to a secular Jewish family. She was brought up with progressive views, particularly from her father, who was an immigrant, a socialist, and a union organizer. She was a student activist in her Barnard College days in the late 1930s, gaining her BA in Economics in 1941. She and Dad raised us to value human rights above all else, mostly teaching by example: tabling for the United Farm Workers in the 1960s, refusing a neighbor’s request to sell our house only to a white family, and giving us all the freedom to think for ourselves.

Mom loved beauty, art, culture, and dance. In the 1950s she began folk dancing and helped popularize this traditional art in Seattle. The four of us learned about Scandinavia,the Balkans, the Philippines, and many other cultures. We learned the values of internationalism and solidarity, and the great joy of learning from people whose life experiences are different from ours. Four lifelong travelers she created, who strive to live up to her example of talking to everyone she encountered, and making friends everywhere she went.

Mom was married to Leopold Lippman for 43 years, from 1942 till his tragic death from cancer in 1985. She worked for the War Labor Board during the Second World War, then left the workforce for almost 20 years, moving to Seattle to raise the family. Moving the family to Sacramento in 1963, she worked for the county as a social worker, going on strike in the interests of her clients, and being fired for her efforts. She wanted to work, and not have domestic life define her. She later said that she chose political candidates to support based on their support for women’s needs and for the environment, and that if she had to choose, women’s issues were the deciding factor. (She also said famously, “I’ll vote for anyone who will raise my taxes.”)

The family moved once more, to New Jersey. Mom returned to work as a social worker in Newark, then to graduate school, achieving her Master’s in public administration from NYU. She finished her career in the 1980s as Deputy Director of Surface Transportation Planning at the NYC Department of Transportation. We enjoyed the image of this five-foot-two woman in the Garment District flashing her badge and telling truck drivers who were blocking traffic to “Move it!”

In over 30 years of well-deserved retirement, she enjoyed traveling to India, Japan, Turkey, Egypt, and many other domestic and international destinations. She continued folk dancing for an impressive total of 60 years. She also became an award-winning photographer, carrying her camera everywhere.

In her later years we each developed strong relationships with her. It seemed we all had an unending amount to learn from her: to stand up straight, to speak grammatically, and to treat women well were high on her list.

Perhaps the most important lesson Mom had for us was that she loved us unconditionally, and that she just wanted us to be happy. These were such simple sentiments, but they were life-transforming; she had an incomparable way of getting to the heart of the matter.

We remember Mom’s lifetime of volunteer work including the Women’s Trade Union League (1941), Cub Scouts, Group Health Cooperative, and Americans for Democratic Action (Seattle); work for fair housing and disadvantaged children (Sacramento); for the spread of hearing loop technology as a social solution to hearing loss; and with Occupy Bergen County (New Jersey).

Eleanor Lippman is survived by her four sons, Roger (Seattle), Dave (New York City), Peter (Seattle), and George (Berkeley).

Age 92

Age 90

Age 80, photographing in the Southwest


Eleanor Lippman home