Liliane(Lily) Berditchevsky Stern passed away gently at her Ephrata, PA home on July 8, 2020 at the age of 91. Liliane was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1929 to Solomon and Lara Berditchevsky. Her father was a classically trained concert pianist, a gentle kind man, who ingrained in Lily a love for music, the arts, and a passion for learning. As a child, Lily experienced the realities of war as World War II brought the Nazis and their hate filled violence to her home. Amid this Lily managed to excel in school, becoming one of the few women of the day in Egypt to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Cairo.
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Lily was deported from the country of her birth (Egypt) in 1948 for the crime of being Jewish. She emigrated to Israel where she met and married Theodore Jack Stern, who was an American volunteer in the Israeli Airforce. After the war of independence, Lily emigrated to the United States where she and Ted raised a family, passing on her love for Music, and learning to their three children.
Fluent in several languages, Lily worked as a French language instructor, piano teacher, substitute teacher, and as a lab technician , before returning to school to earn a Masters Degree in Health Sciences, where her passion for community wellness lead her to become an outspoken advocate for a healthy community.
Lily had the moral courage to stand up for her beliefs even though they were not mainstream or part of conventional wisdom. In the 70’s she led the charge in taking society to task for permitting smoking in public places. She faced public ridicule for years, but stood strong and faced her detractors down. Nowadays, her beliefs regarding smoking are mainstream and the norm. She helped make it the norm through courage and perseverance. Lily took that same attitude to other community health battles, advocating for women’s rights, community wellness in the light of climate change and pollution control. Lily was fearlessly outspoken in her beliefs. Most important to those beliefs were truth, honesty, and fairness. Lily will be sorely missed, especially during these troubled times.
Lily is survived by her three children, Carla Marcia Preece and husband Gordon, Judith Rachel Stern Spadoni, Ben Emett Stern and wife Kathleen, Six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. She is predeceased by her sister Ada Berditchevsky, husband Theodore Stern (1994), and her companion Theodore Leininger (2014).
Lily will be laid to rest alongside her World War II veteran husband Ted at the Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, on Friday, July 17th, 2020 at 11:00 am.
In light of the Pandemic, and per Lily’s wishes that the health and safety of her friends and family be protected, she has requested there be no public gathering at this time. A gathering to celebrate her life will take place at a later date to be decided.
Our family would like to express our love and appreciation for all of Lily’s friends and care givers who stood by her and supported her in her final days. Lily was so appreciative and loved you all dearly. For fear of missing someone, we will refrain from listing names, but you know who you are. Thank you.
Your gifts of flowers will be gratefully accepted in recognition of Liliane’s love for all that blooms but the family asks that any other types of donations you may wish to make, to honor the memory of Liliane Stern, be directed to either of the following organizations:
Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster