April 3, 1944 – February 8, 2020
Sylvia R. Kerpel, née Rothschild, 75, beloved daughter of the late John and Renee Rothschild; devoted wife and best friend for over 50 years of Michael Kerpel; loving mother of Martin (Melissa) Kerpel and David (Erin) Kerpel; proud Grandma of Andrew, Julia, Brandon, and Samantha; dear sister of Armand (Marylee) Rothschild; a treasured friend of many. Sylvia was known as Madame Kerpel to the French students she taught at Highland Park High School for over 25 years. To those who were lucky enough to know her, she was nurturing, intelligent, caring, affectionate, compassionate, and a life-long learner. Always willing to show kindness to strangers, she could strike up a conversation with anyone she encountered. She was always concerned for the well-being of others, especially her family. She had an amazing, adventurous spirit until the end. A funeral service will be held at Weinstein & Piser Funeral Home, 111 Skokie Blvd., Wilmette, IL on Wednesday February 12th at 1:30 pm. Interment to follow at Shalom Memorial Park Cemetery, Arlington Heights, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to ORT, www.ort.org.
- Funeral Service Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Interment Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Shivah Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Shivah Thursday, February 13, 2020
- Minyan - Mincha / Maariv Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Minyan - Mincha / Maariv Thursday, February 13, 2020
February 23, 2020
I am so saddened to learn of Sylvia's passing. I knew Sylvia for many years from our shared devotion to ORT. Her love for ORT's students around the world was always evident as she gave of herself on their behalf. Seeing her at so many events through the years, Sylvia was always such a beautiful, gracious and caring woman. I will miss her and I know so many others whose lives she touched will miss her as well.
February 17, 2020
Sylvia and I met at Highland Park High School. I was the Hebrew teacher and she was the French teacher. We sat next to each other for 7 years before I left and moved to Paris with my husband and two small children.
Sylvia was a really devoted teacher, wife, mother and an enthusiast learner and traveler. She loved France and she and Michael came to visit many times in the 34 years that I’ve been living here in Paris.
We would often talk about the families. Sylvia was a devoted grandmother and absolutely adored her sons and their wives and all the grandkids. She traveled with them and even after Michael was no longer able to travel, she took the grandkids on bar and bat mitzvah trips and just thought they were the best kids ever. She loved both of her daughters-in-law so much as well. She only had praise for them and of course for her two sons, Martin and David.
When Sylvia and Michael came to visit us in Paris we always talked about what it was like at Highland Park High School and all the teachers we knew together. There was Kelly, the Latin Teacher, Carolyn, the German teacher, Alicia, the Spanish teacher, and John the department head. I think they have all passed away years ago, except John. Sylvia loved to teach and loved her students but she was happy to retire when her years were up. Then she could travel and take many classes and dabble in all kinds of projects. She and Michael went to exotic destinations with University organizations and had a marvelous time. I don’t remember a trip that she didn’t love. She loved traveling with Michael all those years and when he was no longer able to go, she went with the organizations and traveled herself. She was so verbose and personable that she made many friends on these trips and enjoyed her time immensely.
I have vivid memories of Syl and Michael going to the Paris flea market each time they came to Paris and buying a beautiful Art Nouveau glass piece. They loved art and each other very much.
February 14, 2020
I am a friend of Sylvia from.the Alliance Francaise du North Shore. She was always so warm and energetic as a member and our photographer
She often chased me around to get my photo with our montly speaker.. Her smile contagious. We all loved her. She was so fun.
We will miss her spirit ar AFdNS
February 14, 2020
To the family: Please know that Sylvia was a dear and deeply valued member of the Alliance Française du North Shore and made many significant contributions to our organization. She was at one time our Secretary and more recently a member of the board of directors. But Sylvia was perhaps best known to our members as our official photographer. Always ready to gather the members, the monthly program speaker, the officers or board members for their photos, she contributed greatly to the recording of the history of our AF du NS chapter. We knew Sylvia also as a person who loved the French language and traveling to other countries. She loved telling about her most recent trip to France and how special it was because her companion on that trip was Brandon, one of her four grandchildren. Sylvia's passing has left such a big hole in our organization and in our hearts. She will be missed.
February 14, 2020
There are many fond memories I have of "Mrs Kerpel". However, her character can be summed up during an event that occurred when David and I were around 13 years old. The Kerpels took me out on their beautiful sailboat one day. While drifting on the lake, I developed some major motion sickness. I'll never forget that Mrs Kerpel was incredibly nurturing to me. Rubbing my back and tending to me was 2nd nature to her. She treated me like a 3rd son that day. She and her husband spent much of their spare time on their beloved boats with their beloved children and I was glad to be part of that history/memory. Mrs Kerpel, you will be greatly missed but fond memories of you will live on for generations to come. RIP
February 12, 2020
Uncle Michael, Martin and David, I remember how much Aunt Sylvia loved her family and the time she spent with you. I also remember her laughter as well as her love of travel, art, music and good food. What I most remember about Aunt Sylvia is her kindness and generosity of spirit.
February 12, 2020
Dear Martin and family,
I am sorry to hear of Sylvia's passing and will let my parents know. It was always so nice to see her and I know my mom especially enjoyed the conversations they had about both teaching and real estate.
Liesl Miller Orenic
February 12, 2020
I met Sylvia at Alliance Française Of the North Shore. She was always smiling and taking photos of our activities. I shared with her that I loved her name as it was the same as my mother’s. She smiled . She was always warm and open to a “ Bonjour or À bientôt .
Her spirit will live on in the memories of her openness , kindness to people and her talent with language and photography . My thoughts are with her family . She will be missed .
I am glad I got to know her even just a little. Constance Porteous
February 11, 2020
It is with much sadness that I learn of the passing of Sylvia. She was beautiful in so many ways. From the first times that I attended gatherings of Chez Qui, Sylvia warmly welcomed me. Because of that warmth, hers was one of the first whose name I memorized.
It was so much fun to be with Sylvia at our meetings as she told about a good book, a wonderful movie, a great trip, the current political situation in France and, of course, her family. Chez Qui and my life will be diminished without her in them. She will remain in my memory and heart.
A bientot, ma chere amie.