May 21, 1936 - July 31, 2021
Sylvia (Liebman) Spertus passed away on July 31, in her home in Austin, surrounded by her loving family during her third bout with cancer She was born May 21, 1936, in Rock Island, Illinois to Eva and Julius Liebman. Sylvia earned a bachelor's degree in Geography from the University of Iowa, foreshadowing a lifetime of travel with her husband Philip Spertus, whom she married on February 5, 1961. They raised their four children in the Chicago area, where they were active in the Jewish community, including sponsoring the Philip and Sylvia Spertus Judaica Prize and raising money for the Jewish United Fund and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. In 1989, they made what they thought would be a temporary move to Austin but decided to stay permanently because of their wonderful new friends and the great community, which they contributed to by helping create the Shalom Austin Jewish Community Center and Congregation Tiferet Israel. Sylvia was an excellent cook and hostess, whether entertaining large groups at the home she and her husband built, preparing meals for her husband or as a volunteer at a soup kitchen. She was an opera enthusiast from back when all she could afford was "nosebleed" seats, going on to assist her husband when he chaired the Austin Opera and to win a walk-on role in Tosca in a fundraiser. Phil produced a poster with a picture of her in costume, proclaiming that she was the "star of the show" and that she "dominated the stage". A world traveler, Sylvia visited over 60 countries, some of which no longer exist. Her travels took her everywhere from Antarctica to the North Pole, including the interior of New Guinea and the Galapagos with her children and grandchildren. In her last trip before the pandemic, she set sail from Norway to see the Northern Lights. In addition to her husband of 60 years, she is survived by her loving children, Michael (Maura), Debby, Ellen (Keith), and Andrea (Ted), and her four grandchildren, all of whom were with her during her last days. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following Jewish charities: • Spertus Institute (www.spertus.edu) • Tiferet (www.tiferetaustin.org) • Congregation Agudas Achim (www.theaustinsynagogue.org) • Shalom Austin (www.shalomaustin.org) A live stream of the funeral service will appear on the Austin Natural Funerals Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AustinNaturalFunerals, shortly before 10 am on Monday, August 2nd. A Facebook account is not required in order to watch. If a pop-up window appears asking you to log in click "not now" and the live stream will be available for you to watch. If the "not now" button does not appear, scroll down on the page and it will come up for you to select.
Sylvia (Liebman) Spertus passed away on July 31, in her home in Austin, surrounded by her loving family during her third bout with cancer She was born May 21, 1936, in Rock Island, Illinois to Eva and Julius Liebman. Sylvia earned a bachelor's... View Obituary & Service Information
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