Estelle (Gottdiener) Galper, 86, of Cincinnati, Ohio, formerly of McKeesport/White Oak, Pennsylvania, slipped into eternity on January 24, 2019, after a lengthy illness, surrounded by loved ones. She was born and raised in McKeesport, the daughter of the late Gustav and Olga (Spitz) Gottdiener.
After her marriage to the late Milton Galper, her beloved husband of 60 years, she moved to White Oak where she raised her four children (with a brief interlude in Newport News, Virginia) as a stay-at-home mother. After her youngest children were old enough, she realized her dream of going to college, and attained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, she worked as a psychiatric social worker initially in the Pittsburgh area, and subsequently for many years at Jewish Family Service Cincinnati, where she and her husband had moved in 1987. Her outgoing and empathetic nature made her a perfect fit for a career assisting others to cope with the traumas and stresses of their lives. Estelle was a long-time member of the old Temple B’nai Israel synagogue in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. She had a beautiful contralto voice and sang in the Temple choir for many years. Congregants enjoyed her rendition of the avinu malkeinu prayer during the annual High Holy Day. Estelle had a lifelong passion for music (especially vocal jazz standards, show tunes, opera and symphonic/classical music), movies, literature and poetry, which passions she conveyed to her children. Estelle is survived by her children, Mark Galper of Monessen, PA; Jill (Joan Brown) Galper of Philadelphia, PA; Scott (Fabiana Perla) Galper of Philadelphia, PA; and Betsy (Kathrin England) Galper of Cincinnati, OH, who was her long-time caretaker. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Matthew, Dylan, Nicholas, and Lucia; by 8 great-grandchildren; by her sister-in-law, Ethel (Leonard) Hellenthal; and her sisters, Judy (David) Lichtenstein and Sandy (Philip) Raskin; five nieces; and four nephews.
Friends will be received on Sunday, January 27, 2019 from 10:00 am until the time of services at 11:00 am at Strifflers of White Oak Cremation & Mortuary Services, 1100 Lincoln Way, White Oak, PA 15131 (Sue Striffler Galaski, supervisor, 412-678-6177). Services will be officiated by Rabbi Paul Tuchman. Burial will follow in the Temple Cemetery.
Remembrances may be made to Jewish Family Service Cincinnati, 8487 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45236 or to Hospice of Cincinnati, c/o Bethesda Foundation, 10500 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242. To share a memory or online condolence, visit strifflerfuneralhomes.com.
Originally published January 24, 2019.