FRISHKOPF, Barbara (Alpert)


Barbara Alpert Frishkopf of Lexington, Massachusetts passed away on January 7th, 2020, at 84 years of age, from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She is survived by her partner Tania Medina, her brother Jack Alpert and his wife Ruth Alpert, her son Michael Frishkopf and his wife Iman Mersal, her son John Frishkopf and his partner Brett Mattingly, her daughter Sophie Frishkopf and her husband Philip Pitha, her daughter Bianca Medina and her husband Edward Gold, her ex-husband and close friend Lawrence Frishkopf and his wife Janice Frishkopf, and her three grandchildren: Mourad Frishkopf, Joseph Frishkopf, and Nathan Pitha. Barbara was born on March 20th, 1935 in Newark, New Jersey, daughter of the late Louis Seymour Alpert and the late Ruby (Margulis) Alpert. She grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, where she attended Columbia High School. She completed her bachelor’s degree in bacteriology at Douglass College (Rutgers University). After graduation she worked for René Dubos at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York. But (following in the footsteps of her mother, who traveled to Egypt and Palestine at 19) travel was in her blood, and she wouldn’t remain tied to a lab job for long. Unusually for a young, single woman in the 1950s, she determined to journey around the globe, expressing a lifelong fascination with peoples, cultures, musical traditions, and cuisines from around the world. She set forth from New York in 1958, crossing the Atlantic by boat. For the following year, she traveled alone throughout Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, and other Asian destinations, finally returning in 1959 via a trans-Pacific freighter that brought her to New Orleans. She was a loving mother who encouraged her children to explore the world and broaden their social, artistic, and scientific horizons. She raised them in part through example: her many interests included music (cello, fiddle, mandolin, recorder, banjo, chorus and more), mycology, cooking, travel, reading, the Boston Red Sox, gardening, entomology, and bird watching. Barbara had an indomitable, exuberant spirit which saw her through health challenges for years. But most of all she will be remembered as an engaging, kind, warm, generous person with a huge heart, someone who constantly put others before herself. She was open to friendship with absolutely everyone she met, people from all walks of life, often forging new friendships in minutes with her manifest humanity, sincerity, warmth, good humor, and simplicity, combined with a genuine curiosity about their lives, and an ongoing concern for their wellbeing. She maintained most of those friendships for life. Likewise, she reached out to extended family, establishing close connections with distant relatives, keeping up with third cousins twice removed, who thereby kept up with each other. She also made friends through the many organizations she joined corresponding to her interests - music, mushrooming, birding. Always generously present in the lives of friends and family, often with a judiciously selected word, phone call, or gift, she developed an enormous social circle over her lifetime, coming to serve as its vibrant, yet unassuming, hub. She will be greatly missed by everyone who had the good fortune to know her. The family is grateful to the hematology oncology group at Beth Israel Hospital, the nursing team of Reisman 11 and especially to Dr. David Avigan who provided exceptional care to Barbara for over ten years. Services will be held at Temple Kol Tikvah, 9 Dunbar Street in Sharon, Massachusetts, on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Barbara Frishkopf to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at or by check made payable to “Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center” with “In Memory of Barbara Frishkopf/ Dr. David Avigan Research Fund” on the memo line and mailed to: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Arrangements by
Schlossberg & Solomon Memorial Chapel
"Family Owned"

print go back