Elizabeth (Betty) Leah Gibber Berman, a long-time resident of Liberty and Monticello, NY passed away on Monday, May 13, 2019 surrounded by family and friends, at her daughter’s home in Niskayuna.
Elizabeth was born in East Orange, New Jersey on December 17, 1930, to Abraham and Rose Gibber. A lifelong Sullivan County resident, Elizabeth grew up in Kiamesha Lake and attended Long Island University. She and her husband Barry raised their four children in Liberty. They moved to Monticello in 2007 following a catastrophic fire at their home.
Elizabeth devoted much of her adult life to the human service and disability fields in the Hudson Valley region. As an effective advocate, she promoted positive change in the lives of people with mental illness and physical challenges, as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also touched countless lives that benefitted from her tireless devotion, leadership, and commitment to improving the quality of life of people who were disenfranchised and in need of support.
She served on many boards, including CACHE (Community Action Commission to Help Economy), Sullivan ARC, United Cerebral Palsy (which became the Center for Discovery, where she served as president for over forty years), the Community Services Board of Sullivan County, the Hudson Valley DDSO (formerly Letchworth Village) where she was appointed by three governors to serve as President of the Board of Visitors. For a number of years, Elizabeth served as an active and valued member of the Surrogate Decision Making Committee (SDMC), whose program operates under the auspices of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.
Elizabeth spent much of her younger years working at the Hotel Gibber, her family’s hotel located in Kiamesha Lake. She also spent time working at her husband Barry’s business, Sullivan County Wholesalers, all while juggling her family and volunteer activities.
Elizabeth was predeceased by Barry Berman, her loving husband of 62 years, and her beloved daughter, Jo Berman. She is survived by her brother, Harold Gibber, son Mitchell (Barbara), daughter Erica, son Darrell (Pamela), and son-in-law Jeffrey Dubnick. She is also survived by grandchildren: Alex Berman (Lisa Wald), Luka Dubnick, Matthew Berman, Rebecca Boll (Cameron Boll), as well as great-grandchildren Hannah, Sarah and Benjamin. She is also survived by her adored nieces, nephews, and other relatives, as well as many cherished friends, including her devoted caregiver and friend, Cheryl Boehringer and dog Jezzy.
She had a special gift for cultivating friendships from all walks of life. Her vivacious and nurturing personality touched the lives of countless individuals with whom she came in contact. Her door was always open and she was a friend to all. She will be dearly missed.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Congregation Ahavath Israel Synagogue, 39 Chestnut Street, Liberty, NY 12754. Burial will follow at the Ahavath Israel Cemetery on Hysana Road in Liberty.
Anyone who wishes to make memorial donations may contribute to the following organizations: Liberty Police Department P.B.A. (159 N. Main St., Liberty, NY 12754), Liberty Fire Department Joint Fire District (256 Sprague Ave, Liberty, NY 12754), Colonie EMS Benevolent Association (cemsba.org) or United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (ushmm.org).
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home - Monticello; “Honorably Serving the Tri-County Jewish Community for 70 Years” 845-794-7474 or www.josephngarlickfuneralhome.com.