Vivian Berman Lewis

  Vivian Berman Lewis of Branford and Woodbridge CT died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on October 20, 2013 after a life well-lived. Vivian was the eldest child of Carl and Pearl Berman and was born in New Haven on February 18, 1918 – two years before women gained the right to vote. She attended local schools in New Haven and graduated from Wellesley College in 1937. All her life, she had an avid interest in early childhood education. She was an advocate for a strong and progressive public education system and for effective early education. Following her Wellesley graduation she taught at Walker Day School, in Cambridge MA and at Hecht House in Boston where she worked with emotionally disturbed immigrant children many of whom had suffered severe trauma during WWII. While her children were young, Vivian continued to serve and lead various education committees and organizations. In the late 1950s, however, she decided to return to professional life beginning with graduate school where she received a Masters degree in psychology from Southern Connecticut State College. She then became a child psychologist working in this capacity for the Naugatuck, CT School System for more than 25 years. In 1938 Vivian married Dr. Herbert Lewis, her childhood sweetheart who survives her and with whom she was able to celebrate recently their 75th wedding anniversary. She is also survived by her four children: Karen Lewis (and Lynn Bonfield) of San Francisco and Peacham VT;, Steven Lewis (and Pamela Burke) of Middletown, NJ; Mark Lewis of Redwood City CA; Sara Lewis (Dr. Thomas Michel) of Lincoln, MA), and four loving grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters, Sydell Friedman of Lacey WA and Marcia Untermeyer-Baum of Evanston IL. She is predeceased by a brother, Stephen (Ellen) Berman. Vivian was a beloved wife, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, mentor and friend to the many to whom she was known as Vivi.

Funeral service at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd., Hamden, CT. Tuesday afternoon at 1. Interment and period of mourning will be private. Memorial contributions in Vivian’s memory may be made to Wellesley College or to a charity of one’s choice. A family meeting of remembrance is planned for next spring.

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  1. Stephanie and Len Farber said,

    10.22.13 at 11:57 pm

    Dear Herb and family,

    We were so saddened to hear of Vivian’s passing. We remember with great fondness the times we spent talking with her about so many things – the state of the world, the state of the Democratic Party, the state of her family and ours.

    Please accept our deepest condolences. May her memory be for a blessing.

    All our best,
    Stephanie and Len

  2. Ana Maria Tavares said,

    10.23.13 at 11:30 am

    I am very saddned to hear about Vivian passing. I had the pleasure of working with her in Naugatuck, several years ago. She was a wonderful person and a great defensor of children’s rights. I have great memories of Vivian. Rest in peace!
    My condolences to the family,
    Ana Tavares

  3. Peter and Rodney Hayes said,

    10.23.13 at 12:23 pm

    We were so sorry to read of Vivian’s death. She was quite an amazing gal and a great friend to so many at Haycock Point.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all the Berman’s and Lewis’.
    Rod and Peter

  4. Laura Cyr said,

    10.23.13 at 1:30 pm

    To Vivian’s family,
    On behalf of the Special Services Department of the Naugatuck Public Schools, I want to express our deepest sympathy to all of you during this time. As the current director of the department, I shared the news of her passing with many here who had the honor and privilege of working with her years ago. She was truly a remarkable woman who mentored so many of us and worked so hard on behalf of our children and families. We are all better educators for having known her, as she made an impact that will be felt in the department for many years. Thank you, Vivian.
    Our condolences go out to all of you.
    Laura Garceau Cyr

  5. Sue Marti-Colella said,

    10.23.13 at 5:29 pm

    To Vivian’s family,
    I was saddened to hear of her passing. For over a decade, I had the distinct privlege of working with Vivian in Naugatuck.What an insightful, compassionate lady! A true advocate for children.
    My condolences to all of you.
    Sue Marti-Colella

  6. Darlene and Remy Zimmermann said,

    11.07.13 at 2:31 pm

    Dear Herb and Family,
    Darlene and I were saddened to learn of Vivian’s death. She was a wonderful woman and a dear friend and colleague of my mother, Eleanor Zimmermann. They were colleagues in the Naugatuck Public Schools Special Services Department. Although I knew Vivian from childhood as a friendly, chatty, interesting friend of my parents, Darlene and I got to know her and Herb as adults when we’d walk or jog through their beautiful Haycock Point (Branford) neighborhood. We even had the pleasure of being luncheon guests at their Anguilla home during a recent vacation. We’ll miss her a lot. Please accept our condolences.
    Darlene and Remy Zimmermann