Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Obituary - BETTY STEIN


Betty Diana Stein, age 89, of Orlando, passed away on April 1, 2015, at Florida Hospital—Celebration Health. Mrs. Stein was born in Boston, Mass., on July 18, 1925, to the late Harry Finberg and Dora Feinberg Finberg. She was one of five siblings—all creative musicians and artists. She was a musician and studied trumpet at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and was a talented artist who could draw, paint, sew, needle point and sculpt.

On March 1, 2015, Betty Stein was honored to be one of the “8 Over 80” individuals Kinneret Council recognized as one who continued to contribute to the community through their volunteer and philanthropy efforts.

She was married for more than 67 years to Daniel Stein, who passed away in January 2014. “They were so in love and still always walked holding hands,” said her daughter Carol Stein.

Mrs. Stein was a kindergarten teacher at Dade heights Jewish School in Miami and Temple Beth Shalom in Satellite Beach. She would teach the children with passion—making their lessons so colorful with her artistic abilities. She continued to be an educator as a substitute teacher in the Seminole and Orange County school systems for many years. Her ability to connect with the children was an inspiration to the full-time teachers at every school.

Mrs. Stein was a fundraiser for many years in all the Jewish communities she has lived in—Boston, Miami, Space Coast and Orlando. In Central Florida, she was the fundraising chairwoman for over 27 years for Chaverot Hadassah. She put together exciting evenings such as Mystery Nights, and with the help of friends and family, she produced shows every year with musicians, actors and singers, and even sewed the costumes for these fundraising extravaganzas. Mrs. Stein was so creative and fun-loving that she persuaded her husband and his friends to dance in some shows as ballerinas, harem dancers, a Hawaiian luau dancers and Can Can dancers! No one could say no to this 4’10” fireball of positive energy. Even the sponsors all over town would always say “Yes!” to Betty Stein.

Mrs. Stein was active in Temple Israel Sisterhood activities since 1969. She was always willing to lend a hand in any event, using her creative talents to personally make table centerpieces for meetings and events.

Mrs. Stein was very involved with charities such as The Head Start program, Give Kids the World, and Jewish Family Services. She would drive to Publix and pick up bakery goods and fill the Pearlman Pantry.

“She introduced me to volunteering when I was in elementary school,” said Carol. “She would take me to facilities for special children that were mentally or physically handicapped, and I would perform music for them. She would have me help with the Head Start program, serviing breakfast to the children who did not have food at their own homes.”

Mrs. Stein was the mother everyone would go to. “Our house was always open to those in need. Every Friday night, she would make chicken (a different way) and chicken soup. All our friends knew there would always be an extra seat at our dinner table.

Mrs. Stein was the Cub Scout den mother for her sons, she assisted as Carol’s Brownie and Girl Scout Troop leader. She was always in the classroom mother who would help teachers: chaperoning field trips and decorating classrooms. She sewed the banner for the Johnson Junio High School Band in Eau Gallie and was the bus chaperone for band trips with the Lyman High School marching band.

Mrs. Stein loved life. She has traveled to over 40 countries—Just tell Betty you want to go on a trip and she will be packed and ready to go—and she loved deep sea fishing.

“She gave me the self confidence to believe in myself and told me I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it and put in the time to learn. She instilled the passion of giving to others in my brothers and me so that we could continue the tradition to help others,” Carol said.

One could usually see Betty Stein sitting beside Carol at many events – either beside her at the piano or at a table enjoying Carol’s music.

Mrs. Stein is survived by her son, Dr. Stephen (Debbie) Stein of New Port Richey, Fla.; daughter, Carol Stein (Lee Wolfson) of Orlando; her sister, Hilda Kirshen of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; and two grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at Jacob “Yank” Frank Pavilion at Temple Israel Cemetery with Rabbi Joshua Neely officiating. Memorial contributions can be made to The Jewish Pavilion, P.O. Box 160056, Altamonte Springs, FL 32716-0056 or the Orlando Chapter of Hadassah, c/o Bernice Davids at jdavids@cfl.rr.com. Arrangements were entrusted to Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel, 640 Lee Road, Orlando.


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