Phyllis H. Hellman Berk

August 15, 1927December 29, 2012

Phyllis (Hellman) Berk, 85, of Newton Highlands, at home on Saturday, December 29, 2012. Beloved wife of Laurence “Laurie” “Larry” Berk. Loving mother of Judy Berk & her husband David Foley of Northport, ME, and Joanna Berk of Richmond, VT. Proud grandmother of Sam Berk-Hinckley of Richmond, VT. Phyllis was raised in Brookline by her parents Solomon & Henrietta (Greenberg) Hellman, and her sisters Pearl Tepper & Shirley Goldman, who predecease her. Phyllis graduated from Simmons College and was employed by Harvard University. She volunteered at Head Start and for political campaigns and causes which she felt passionate about. Phyllis loved to create pottery, to work in her garden and to play bridge with dear friends. She was an enthusiastic cook and baker, preparing elaborate meals for family and friends, and hosting Thanksgiving dinner at her home for more than 50 years. She traveled extensively with Laurie, from Carnival in Haiti in 1961 to the opera in Verona, Italy, in 2002. Phyllis and Laurie enjoyed spending time at their South Wellfleet vacation home for more than 30 years. Phyllis will be remembered for her wit, warmth and grace, which touched many people. She leaves behind a sister-in-law, Lois (Berk) Grayson, nieces Shelley (Tepper) Aaron, Nancy (Tepper) Shor, Shoshana (Grayson) Plotke, and Miriam (Grayson) Ferris, and nephews David Grayson, Eliot Goldman, James Goldman and Gary Goldman. She also leaves many close friends and her extraordinary caregiver, Carmel Addley. Services at Levine Chapel, 470 Harvard St., Brookline, on Wednesday, January 2 at 12:00pm. Memorial observance, Wednesday only at the home of Laurence Berk following the service through 8:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Phyllis H. Hellman Berk

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Harris Hyman

January 1, 2013

I never met Phyllis but there's something wonderful about her in the spirit of all of the people whom Judy has influenced.

Frank & Judy Inserra

January 1, 2013

Joanna and Sam, please accept our deepest sympathies. Our thoughts our with you at this sad moment. Look forward to brighter days ahead. Over time, it is the fond memories that endure.

December 31, 2012

Dear Judy, Joanna, and Uncle Laury I am so saddened with Phyllis's passing. I loved her so much.. She was a wonderful aunt to me my whole life. I will miss our talks, her smile and that laugh!! I have great memories of zillions of Thanksgivings, Passover, and even Chunakah parties with the whole Hellman clan. So sorry that that I can not be home for the funeral but I will be in a few weeks.. Love, Shelley & Alan too

Karen Gissendanner

December 31, 2012

Jo, Judy, Sam, and Mr. Berk---I am thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort.

December 31, 2012

I have such wonderful memories of long conversations with Phyllis over the years. She was a sensitive and caring individual. I remember so many terrific dinner parties which she provided, as well. Sylvia Feinburg