Sunday, March 12, 2023
Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)
Barbara Ann Young Blumenthal, beloved kindergarten teacher in Northeast Philadelphia for nearly 40 years, died on March 6, 2023. She was 91.
Mrs. Blumenthal, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, was perhaps best known for the 36 years that she taught rowdy classes of five-year-olds at Ethan Allen Elementary School - classes bursting with creativity and joy. She was that favorite teacher whom students returned to visit year after year. A legend in the Mayfair area, she often noted how much she loved the energy and openness of young children and spent many summers as a camp counselor surrounded by little ones. When she retired, the school district discovered she had over 300 accumulated sick days never taken.
After retiring from teaching, Mrs. Blumenthal volunteered at The Women’s Center of Montgomery County, accompanying and providing support for abused women as they attended court dates, providing telephone counseling and working at the thrift shop.
An only child, Barbara Blumenthal spent her own early years surrounded by love and warmth and silliness. When she was old enough to go away to camp, her father – Reuben L. Young – would show up frequently bearing a load of candy and other snacks. It was a three-hour drive, but he claimed to have “been in the neighborhood.” Years later, her mother – Frances - and father would visit nearly every Sunday to see their grandkids, bringing homemade chicken soup and brisket.
Raised in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, she graduated from Overbrook High School. She began her college career at Pennsylvania State University, where she met her husband, Stephen D. Blumenthal, on a softball field. He was pitching. She was a spectator. After they were wed, Mrs. Blumenthal obtained her bachelor’s at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) and went on later to complete her master’s in education at the same school.
Barbara and Stephen Blumenthal maintained a close and loving marriage for 72 years, raising three children and ultimately producing a family that includes seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Always a teacher at heart, she carried those same skills from the classroom to her family – forever curious about the latest direction in their lives and lending advice, support and – sometimes - blunt assessments. Barbara and Steve loved celebrating holidays and special occasions with family.
The couple maintained an active social life that included a close-knit group of friends and a wide range of activities from bridge to tennis to regular discussion groups on movies and current events. They traveled extensively. Mrs. Blumenthal was a voracious reader and a devoted consumer of crosswords, cryptograms and the daily bridge challenge - often leaving a shredded newspaper on the floor at her feet.
She supported Steve through his years acting in community theater and was at his elbow when, after an extensive career in advertising, he realized a life-long dream in founding Act II Playhouse in Ambler, Pa.
Steve took care of Barbara with extraordinary kindness through her final years, learning to manage her diabetes and other medical needs and ensuring that she stayed close to him.
Mrs. Blumenthal was the beloved wife of Stephen, loving mother of Bobbi Rosan (Jay), Andrew Blumenthal (Elise) and Larry Blumenthal (Roe DeLuca); cherished grandmother of Scott Rosan (Kayte), Lisa Rosan, Carla Blumenthal (Shane Rasnak), Amy Hiemenz (John), Eric Blumenthal, Ross Blumenthal, Clay Blumenthal; adored great-grandmother of Lainey, Chase, Palmer, Willa, Colton, Jack and Kai.
Relatives and friends are invited to memorial services, Sunday, March 12, 2023, 1:00pm, at Joseph Levine & Sons, 1002 W. Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Barbara’s memory may be made to Act II Playhouse, Ambler, PA (www.act2.org).
Barbara Blumenthal touched a lot of lives throughout the years. Please share your stories and memories below.