Levine Chapels

470 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA


Sybil (Pilshaw) Gladstone

Sybil Pilshaw Gladstone, of NewBridge on the Charles, Dedham on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. A lifelong learner, philanthropist of the heart, and eternal optimist, Sybil devoted her 96 years to seeking knowledge, loving her family, and helping others pursue their dreams. She lived many lives, making an impact in each one.

Having savored a childhood of rich family togetherness in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Sybil brought to her children and grandchildren a deep respect for family above all else. Uprooted as a teen to Middleboro, MA, Sybil embraced her escape to Pembroke College, where her intellect flourished. A plea from Middleboro to return as an English teacher brought her back to small-town life, but not for long. Ever thirsty to learn and live large, Sybil landed a job as a journalist for the Boston Traveler. A blind date sparked bountiful results: falling in love with Richard ‘Dick’ Gladstone triggered 73 years of deep mutual respect and joy. Ultimately, three children and their spouses – Bob and Jackie, Jerry and Sally, Susie and Barry – perpetuated the rich family togetherness that had shaped Sybil, yielding six grandchildren: Sharon, Jeremy, Mike, Sam, Rob and Jeff, and seven great-grandchildren: Maddy, Emily, Olivia, Noah, Frankie, Nate, and Henry.

After earning a Masters degree in Counseling, Sybil’s third career, as a guidance counselor at Thurston Junior High School in Westwood, allowed her to help boost ties between students and their families, students and teachers, and staff and administration. As always, she strove to forge connections, believing that relationships with others yield life’s greatest rewards.

Sybil sought to quench her never-ending curiosity in myriad courses at Boston University, Brandeis, and the Museum of Fine Arts, and in dynamic Book Club discussions with friends.

Throughout adulthood, Sybil volunteered to help those seeking better lives. As a cook, server, babysitter, and friend to homeless women at The Women’s Lunch Place, she not only gave her time and warmth, but turned countless others into supporters – including the collective NewBridge community. She helped launch Newton’s Child Assault Prevention Program; tutored new immigrants through Literacy Volunteers of America, befriended battered women at Second Step in Newtonville, and encouraged young mothers at risk through Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ Visiting Moms programs - and more.

As a founding member of Temple Shalom of Newton, Sybil served on the Temple’s PTA and Board of Trustees, and Committees for Cantor Search, Social Action, Caring Community, and Religious Practices. She also launched the Family Table food collection program.

Sybil’s love of family, learning, and service inspired all who knew her. From her start as a young mother, Sybil always posted inspirational sayings. Although no phrase can capture her essence, perhaps this statement, displayed in her NewBridge home, speaks to her deepest values: “When you are asked in the world to come, ‘What was your work, ‘ and you answer, ‘I fed the hungry,’ you will be told, ‘This is the gate of the Lord, enter into it’ you who have fed the hungry.’ Midrash Psalms 118-17

Services will be held at Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Rd., Wellesley on Sunday, December 1 at 11:15am. Burial in Sharon Memorial Park, 40 Dedham St., Sharon. Following the burial, a Celebration of Life will take place at NewBridge on the Charles, Great Meadow Hall, 5000 Great Meadow Rd., Dedham at 4pm.

To honor Sybil, donations in her memory may be made to: The Women’s Lunch Place, www.womenslunchplace.org or Mazon, www.mazon.org .


  • Funeral Service Sunday, December 1, 2019


Sybil (Pilshaw) Gladstone

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Ken Heideman

December 2, 2019

Aunt Sybil and Uncle Dick. Two of the best influences on the lives of my brother and me. I am grateful beyond words. Their love was boundless.