Emily Pearl Spector

11 May, 192226 June, 2020

A devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Emily Pearl Greenberger Spector, passed away on June 26, 2020, in Houston.

Emily lived a full, creative and productive life as a poet, writer, artist and university professor. After teaching English for more than two decades at Lamar University and the University of Houston-Downtown, she joined her husband Sam in the residential real estate business. She also volunteered in a wide range of activities -- from teaching seniors how to make jewelry to delivering meals for AIDS patients and to editing a collection of memoirs called “I Remember When,” featuring several prominent Jewish pioneers. These records are preserved at the Fondren Library at Rice University. Emily also served as president and talent show producer for Beaumont’s Hadassah Women’s Organization.

In 1987, for the amusement of her grandchildren, Emily began writing light verse meant to teach character-building traits. The poems were later published as “A Moose, A Goose and Me” ( Emily shared her gift of writing to all her offspring with grammar lessons that began at the dinner table. She loved family and friends and travel, even visiting family in Seattle and Albuquerque on her 97th birthday and celebrating her 98th birthday last month in Driftwood,Texas, where this Yankee was elated to hand feed an apple to a cow.

Emily was born May 11, 1922, in Elizabeth, N.J. and later moved to Staten Island, New York. When she met a charming man while visiting cousins in Texas, she left the East Coast, became his young bride and moved first to Beaumont and later to Houston. She is preceded in death by husband Sam Spector; parents David and Sidelle Greenberger, sister, Doris Baron; and lifelong friend Ruth Friedman Weisman. She is survived by her brother Martin Greenberger and his wife Liz of Santa Monica, California; daughter Connie and husband Rick Senter of Albuquerque, New Mexico; daughter Barbara and husband Larry Peyton of Bainbridge Island, Washington; son Larry Spector of Driftwood, Texas, and son Douglas and wife Anis Spector of Houston. She is also survived by grandchildren, Kelly Peyton Durante, Lauren Reid Anderson, Lindsay Peyton, Justin Spector, Sean Spector, Bryan Spector and Samantha Spector and great-grandchildren Zane and Gianna Durante. She also leaves behind nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members and dear friends. We will all miss her love of life, joy of reading, intimate knowledge of American presidents, and gratitude for a great cocktail or good buffet.

Out of respect for safety during Covid19, Facebook Live services will be held at 10:30 am Monday, June 29. A family celebration of her life will be held next year on the one-year anniversary of her passing. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the American Heart Association, the Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, or one’s charity of choice.


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Kelly Durate

1 July 2020

Grandma taught us by example how to lead a full life and appreciate all the little things that this world has to offer. She spent her time and energy doing the things she loved to do with the people who enriched her life. She was generous with her time and affection, loved to play games, make art, read, learn and teach. I will never forget that while she was in her 80s, she got on the floor to teach my babies how to crawl! She was hands-on like that for everything that she was passionate about. She showed us that life is a buffet—and that we should dig in!

Liz Greenberger

29 June 2020

I am honored to have had Emily in my life and even more so to have had her as my Sister-in-Law. Her positivity and enthusiastic energy were inspirational. Martin, whom she always referred to as "my baby brother" has an unbreakable bond with her and he has loving memories of times together which go way back to Staten Island.
At 13 years old, Martin was welcomed to live with Emily and Sam for a summer that was forged in his memory. Sending love and support to all of Emily's wonderful family.

Jilly Greenberger

29 June 2020

Emily's encouragement of my interest in art was so meaningful. I felt very connected to her as an artist in the family. I remember in particular a time she stayed with us many years ago while I was writing an elementary school report on Botticelli. She spent hours with me helping me do my very best to copy two of his paintings in colored pencil. I was so proud of those drawings.

My father, her brother, Martin Greenberger, would have liked very much to express his love and appreciation for her today. She and Doris were adoring and devoted older sisters and their love always meant the world to him.

Ray & Patti Ehrenshaft

29 June 2020

We remember a vivacious lady, full of life, love and joy, with a contagious smile. Emily would attend our Bible/Torah studies every now and then at her son & daughter-in-law’s home. It was always a blessing to see her and hear her new stories of what she was doing and her activities. She loved life and she chose life as the Scriptures state. When you were with her she always made you feel comfortable. She was not a judgmental person. Emily emulated how a child of God should walk. She was a giver and a vital link in the lives of her family & friends. She will be sorely missed but always remembered in our hearts. May the rich legacy of her life & love be with us always. May she be remembered for a blessing. May her children rise up and call her blessed!

Geri Konigsberg

28 June 2020

To Emily's Family,
I was so sorry to hear about Emily's passing. I knew her through her friendship with Ruth Wiseman. My cousin Ken Friedman is Ruth's son. Emily joined Ruth at my home for several Thanksgivings. In fact, one year she called and asked if I was doing Thanksgiving that year because she had another invitation and wanted to come to mine! We have a rowdy, fun family and Emily fit right in! I hope that your memories of Emily will provide you with a smile during your grieving. She was a wonderful person.
geri konigsberg

Tillie Koch

27 June 2020

Having known Emily for many years; thru Mah Jonng, bridge and just friends things, I have many fond memories of her... But, the one thing I remember she always said was that when she woke each day, she realized what a wonderful day it was!!
She'll be sorely missed. The world is a little darker now that she's gone.

Jeff Shaver

27 June 2020

I knew Emily through Barbara and Larry. In another life I could easily have spent lots of time with her. I was fortunate to have shared good meals and martinis with her and enjoy her charm. Bye my friend. ( and please , spread those rumors about us 😁❤️)

Arthur Corenblith

26 June 2020

I have been a friend of the Spector family for over 40 years – Emily Spector (Mrs. Spector) was an amazing, amazing person. The world really will not shine as bright with Emily gone. Thank G-d though we at least have her wonderful children – Doug, Connie, Barbara, and Larry - who emulate her wonderful personality (maybe even more than they know). Heaven is in for a real treat having Emily around now! No one will be allowed to just sit around up there anymore though! Anyone that knew her really knows, she lit up the room EVERY TIME . I will really miss her ever present positive attitude, her GENUINE beautiful smile, her bright attentive eyes, and her beautiful laugh. When I was at a Spector celebration Mrs. Spector would invariably pull a chair up and sit next to me, blitz me with questions and listen to me like no one else. I know my life is not that riveting, but she would make me (and everyone) feel like I was the funniest and most interesting person in the world. She would laugh and laugh and be so impressed with my stories. But it was Emily Spector who was really the impressive one – still doing real estate, her wordsmith background, raising incredible children and grandchildren, telling fun jokes or laughing at jokes about her (or her refrigerator), being a great friend to her friends, playing cards, feeding her dog ice cream every night, appreciating good meals, making jewelry and giving them as gifts, …. I will truly miss her, but her memory without a doubt will always make me smile and it will always be a blessing to have known such a special, positive, fun human being.

Barry Wuntch

26 June 2020

Barry and I send our love to you all. She was a special person and raised some very special children. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We are both honored to have known her.

Kathy Burniston

26 June 2020

While I didn’t have as much time with her as I would have liked, she always made me feel welcomed and loved when I had the pleasure to be in her company. She was an extraordinary person and raised some amazing children. The world was a much better place with her in it.


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