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OBITUARY

Sylvia "Simmie" Audrey Queen

Sylvia Audrey Queen (A.K.A. Simmie) died peacefully on Friday, November 13, 2020, after courageously battling blindness and Parkinson’s disease. Born in Lynn, MA in 1928, she was the loving daughter of Russian immigrants Wolf and Molly Brenner. She was the former wife of Sumner M. Queen and longtime partner to the late Dr. Isaac M. Fein. Sylvia will be remembered for her boundless energy, abiding love, insatiable intellect, and long-standing commitment to public service. She was a resident of Framingham, MA where she raised her children and served her community tirelessly as the President of Jewish Children and Family Services of Metrowest, on the Framingham Board of Public Health, and on the Framingham League of Women Voters. She helped establish Framingham’s first Reform Jewish establishment, Temple Beth Am, and first local museum, The Danforth Art Museum. In the wider Boston community, Sylvia served as Director of the Somerville Health Department and Director of Emergency Medical Services during the Dukakis administration. Later in life, Sylvia fulfilled her long-cherished desire to study law. She earned a J.D. from Northeastern University at 55 and for many years thereafter served as a court-appointed lawyer representing the economically and socially marginalized members of the Framingham community. She was also a member of the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement, where she taught courses on the great Yiddish writers of the Jewish diaspora and where she created the first Yiddish Table, bringing together retirees from all over Massachusetts who shared her passion for their mother tongue. Her efforts to help regenerate Yiddish culture and language made her an avid supporter of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.

She is predeceased by her sisters Nancy and Charlotte, and survived by her brother Hyman Brenner of Lynn, MA. Sylvia was the beloved mother of Michael David of Brookline, Gerald Leon of South Dartmouth, Ilise Joy (Hyman) of West Roxbury, Isaac Joseph of Falmouth, and Sarah Ann Queen of Brookline; grandmother of Thomas and Benjamin McMahon, Max and Jake Queen, Connie, Sumner, and Josiah Queen, Anya and Sophie Queen; and loving aunt of Rae and Howard Mintz of West Roxbury, MA, Gayle and Dean Solomon of Swampscott, MA, Susan Taylor of Cherry Hill, NJ, the late Marcia Greenberg, and the late Dr. David and Sallie Kanofsky of Tacoma, WA. Treasured great aunt of Rabbi Joseph and Sharona Kanofsky of Toronto, she was also adored by their children Avramie, Moishe, Mendy, Shaina, and Shalom Kanofsky. Sylvia/Simmie was a cherished friend and mentor who made a difference in the lives of so many. May her memory be a blessing to us all.

A video recording of her graveside service may be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5COIqnAbAYc. Shiva will be observed remotely by Zoom, Tuesday through Thursday from 6-7, Friday and Saturday 7- 8, Sunday 5-7, and will conclude Monday morning 8-8:30. Please see services tab above where you will find the link to the previously stated date and times for the shiva. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in loving tribute to the Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002 (https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/), the Boston Workmen’s Circle Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice, 6 Webster Street, Brookline, MA 02446 (https://circleboston.org), the Danforth Museum 100 State Street, P.O. Box 9101, Framingham, MA 01701 (https://danforth.framingham.edu), or Jewish Family Service of Metrowest (https://jfsmw.org).

Arrangements under the direction of Levine Chapels, www.levinechapels.com

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  • Recording of Graveside Service for Sylvia Queen

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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  • Shiva via Zoom

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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  • Shiva via Zoom

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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  • Shiva via Zoom

    Thursday, November 19, 2020

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  • Shiva via Zoom

    Saturday, November 21, 2020

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  • Shiva via Zoom

    Sunday, November 22, 2020

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  • Shiva via Zoom

    Monday, November 23, 2020

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Sylvia "Simmie" Audrey Queen

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