The memorial service for long-time Symphony patron and leader Lois Oppenheimer will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Temple Beth El.
I only had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Oppenheimer 22 months ago. But, Percussionist Marilyn Rife was with the San Antonio Symphony from 1977 to 2002 and was very active on previous music director search, Board and orchestra committees. She worked with Mrs. Oppenheimer on many projects. Marilyn wrote, "I personally think of Lois as the most devoted and enthusiastic family member of the San Antonio Symphony. It was truly our good fortune and honor to have worked with her side by side. Anyone who lives in San Antonio (and those of us who have moved on) can point to Lois as the reason for our lives being rich in spirit and prosperous in our sense of community - she was a great "citizen" in the truest sense and I know the SA Symphony will miss her greatly".
Porter Loring Mortuaries posted this obituary:
Lois Isabel Goldsmith Oppenheimer born in San Antonio, Texas to Nat Goldsmith and Pauline Washer Goldsmith (later married to Max Reiter) on January 20, 1919 passed away on July 13, 2010. She was the granddaughter of San Antonians Mr. & Mrs. Nat M. Washer and Mr. & Mrs. Leopold E. Goldsmith.
Mrs. Oppenheimer graduated from Saint Mary's Hall in 1934 and from Newcomb College of Tulane University with Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1938, the same year she married Harris Kempner Oppenheimer. They became the parents of daughters Polly O. Weisberg (married to Alex F. Weisberg) of Dallas, Texas and Claire O. O'Malley of San Antonio, and grandparents of Alex H. Weisberg of Washington, D.C., Edward J. O'Malley of New York, New York, and D. Harris O'Malley of Austin, Texas.
Mrs. Oppenheimer was a member of Temple Beth El.
Starting as the very first secretary of the San Antonio Symphony which was founded by her mother Pauline Washer Goldsmith Reiter and stepfather Max Reiter, she participated in every Fund campaign from the inception in 1939 to 1989. She served as the Chairman of the Women's Division of the Annual Fund Campaign in 1957, Chairman of the Annual Fund Campaign in 1963, Co-Chairman of the Ford Foundation $1,000,000 Challenge Grant to establish the Symphony Endowment Fund from 1966-1971, Chairman of the Special Gifts Division in 1976, and Chairman of the Board Division in 1984. Mrs. Oppenheimer was a member of the Board of Directors of the Symphony 1959-1988, a member of the Symphony Executive Committee 1972-1988, Secretary to the Board 1980-1982, a member of the Trustee Symphony Endowment Fund 1980-1988, Honoree at the Symphony Ball in 1990. In 1998 she was presented with the Robert V. West Award by the Symphony League at the Symphony Ball. She was a member of the Founding Board of the Symphony Women's Committee (now the Symphony League), served as the Treasurer of the Symphony League and on the Advisory Board of the Symphony League.
In 1984 she served as Honorary Chairman of the Opera Guild Ball, and was a member of the Advisory Council of the Houston Grand Opera starting in 1995.
As a Board member of the Bexar County Chapter of the American Red Cross from 1951-1967 she served as 3rd vice President 1957-1960, Chairman of the Special Gifts Division in the 1960 Fund drive and was appointed to the American National Red Cross Midwestern Area Advisory Council 1961-1964.
Mrs. Oppenheimer was a Board member of Family Service Association 1957-1986, serving as Vice President 1959-1960, President 1961 and 1962, Chairman of the Program and Services Committee 1984 & 1985, and was Honoree of the River Fiesta in 1984. She served as an Honorary Board member from 1986 until her death and Co-Chaired the Capital Campaign 1990-1991.
Serving as a Board member of the Community Welfare Council which became a part of the United Way, she was Chairman of the Public Assistance Committee 1963-1965 and Chairman of the Budget Committee of Community Health Study 1964-1965.
As a Board member of the United Way 1963-1966, Lois was Chairman of the Metropolitan Division of the United Way Fund Campaign 1961. In 1995, she was the first recipient of the United Way's Lifetime Achievement Award in Volunteerism after Governor Dolph and Janie Briscoe for whom the award was named.
At the University of Texas at San Antonio, College of Fine Arts & Humanities, Lois was a member of the Advisory Council 1988-1992 and a member of the Task Force of the Advisory Council 1990-1992.
Should you wish to honor Lois Goldsmith Oppenheimer, the family asks that you consider her two most cherished organizations - Family Service Association of San Antonio and the San Antonio Symphony.
THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2010 at 10:00 A.M.
TEMPLE BETH EL
Rabbi Barry H.D. Block officiating.
For more blogs by Jack Fishman visit: www.sasymphony.org/blog
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