Barbara Spiegelman, artist, homemaker

Posted: April 27, 2014

Barbara Lois Spiegelman, 86, of Center City, an artist, wife, and mother, died Thursday, April 24, at Hahnemann University Hospital of kidney failure.

Mrs. Spiegelman was an only child and was raised in Wynnefield. As a young girl in the early 1930s, she went to Hollywood with her parents as her father chased his dreams. Mrs. Spiegelman was an extra in the Our Gang series of comedy short films.

When her parents divorced a few years later, she and her mother, Estelle Albus, returned to Philadelphia. Her father, Albert Cohen, became a movie producer.

Mrs. Spiegelman graduated from Overbrook High School in 1945 and earned an associate's degree from Temple University's Tyler School of Art in 1947.

She married William Spiegelman, whom she met through mutual friends, in 1948.

Mrs. Spiegelman was a homemaker for the most part, but also helped her mother run a dress shop at 54th Street and City Avenue. She spent a lot of her time painting and doing needlepoint, and took classes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she was a regular.

"In many ways, she's representative of her generation. She had artistic talent, but it was not realized in a professional way," said her son, Jim. "She never sold her work, but everyone knew her as artistic, and she would be looked to to give advice on furnishings and clothing."

The Spiegelmans raised their family in Merion. The family also owned a house in Margate, N.J.

Throughout her childhood and adulthood, Mrs. Spiegelman spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She made a lot of friends, and over the years "there wouldn't be a summer that would go by without some party Barbara hosted," her son said.

In 1975, for her husband's 50th birthday, she hired a Mummers troupe to make an appearance at the party.

When William Spiegelman, an executive in the convention and trade-show industry, retired in 1998, the couple bought a condominium in Palm Beach, Fla., and divided their days between there and the Jersey Shore. The couple also traveled to such places as South America and Europe.

They moved to Center City in 2012.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Spiegelman is survived by daughters Abby Bloch, Kathy, and Suzanne, and eight grandchildren. Her husband died in July.

A graveside service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at Roosevelt Memorial Park, 2701 Old Lincoln Highway, Trevose.

Contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 111 S. Independence Mall E., No. 411, Philadelphia.


jxie@philly.com

215-854-2771

@julieyinxie

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