Beverly Schiffrin, 92, political activist, volunteer

Beverly C. Schiffrin
Beverly C. Schiffrin
Posted: April 22, 2013

Beverly C. Schiffrin, 92, of Lower Merion, a former businesswoman who was a longtime political and social activist, died Monday, April 15, at the Waverly Heights retirement community in Gladwyne.

Mrs. Schiffrin, who lived in Lower Merion for 58 years, was active in her community, serving as an officer and president of the home and school associations of the Bala School for Young Children and the Lower Merion high schools.

She "was one of those people who spent her life making the world a better place," her son Richard said.

Mrs. Schiffrin was active in local politics. She was a member of the Lower Merion Democratic Committee and the Democratic State Committee.

In the late 1960s, she was a Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Beverly Claire Sadwith was born March 4, 1921, in Newark, N.J. She graduated from high school in New Brunswick, N.J., and attended the University of Michigan as a premed student.

In 1948, she married Albert W. Schiffrin, a lawyer. He died in 2009.

With her husband and others, Mrs. Schiffrin founded the Lower Merion Township Scholarship Fund in 1965. The fund, which remains in operation, has helped many students cover the cost of college.

For Mrs. Schiffrin, starting the fund "meant that all children could have an opportunity to go to college, regardless of their financial situation," her son said.

In 1973, Gov. Milton Shapp appointed her to the State College and University Board of Directors.

A year later, Mrs. Schiffrin became one of the first women named to the board of directors of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

She and her husband were among the early supporters of W. Wilson Goode Sr. for mayor of Philadelphia.

"They were politically progressive," said her son, adding that Mrs. Schiffrin imbued the values of fairness and respect in her children.

"We were raised to believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect," Richard Schiffrin said. "She instilled that in us."

In the 1950s, she worked as an administrator for Industrial Washing Machine Corp. and later as president of Coronet Container Corp.

Mrs. Schiffrin was a past president of ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth, an organization that provides volunteer services to help older and disabled adults remain in their homes.

In her later years Mrs. Schiffrin worked as a membership volunteer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

"I don't know when the woman slept," her son said. "She was always doing something."

Mrs. Schiffrin was a "prolific knitter," her son said, creating suits and even rugs.

She also was a dedicated gardener. "She had a huge garden where she raised flowers and vegetables," her son said.

"She was an extraordinarily energetic, loving, and passionate woman," her son said.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Schiffrin is survived by a daughter, Susan; a son, Peter; and five grandsons.

Services were held Thursday, April 18.


Contact Vernon Clark

at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.

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