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Charlotte Kirshner

Kirshner, Charlotte (Adler), of Newton, MA on November 14, 2020. Born in Medford, MA September 9, 1921. Beloved wife of the late Sidney Kirshner. Devoted mother of Leslie Pearlstein and her husband Arthur, Audree Dyson and her husband Bob, and Niki Pugach and her husband Sam. Cherished grandmother of Rachel Raifman, Naomi Leon, Rebecca Baizen and her husband Andrew, Alex Dyson and his wife Jen, Meredith Dyson and her partner Sasha Veljanov, Jill Lewis and her husband Ben, Emily Pugach and her husband Jason Magida. Proud great grandmother of Spencer Raifman, Ava Baizen, Lila & Ari Magida, Sophie Lewis, and Elodie Dyson. Predeceased by siblings Pearl Weiner, Jack (Sonny) Adler, Irving Adler and Charles (Buddy) Adler. Survived by sister-in-law Wayne Adler (Irving) and many nieces and nephews. Also remembered by special cousin Frances Ross. Our heartfelt thanks to her caregivers Ruth Nalugya, Georgia’s Girls, and Nurse Nancy from Good Shepherd.

Charlotte was above all devoted to family, a true matriarch. In addition, she was a good friend, mentor, confidant, good listener, superb hostess, professional volunteer, avid bridge player, golfer, amateur thespian, charming, compassionate, witty, a fighter, a people person, romantic, and gave great hugs. Charlotte will live on in the hearts of many.

Charlotte was a force of nature – if she wanted something to happen, she gave her all to make it happen. Her most intense focus was family. In her childhood days, her own family took care of cousins and other family members. In her adult years, she was devoted to her mother in her declining years and always helped out her siblings in their times of need. As one of 5 siblings, she hosted all the families for the holidays, often with parties of 40 or more spilling through the house. Marathon Day parties were legendary. She was supportive of all her children’s endeavors, selling Audree’s jewelry at craft shows, working bingo at Leslie’s temple, supporting Niki’s work with animals and hospice. She continued with her grandchildren, roller skating with them, providing Apple Jacks during sleepovers (when sugary cereals were not allowed at home), sharing her home with them when they needed it, and supporting great grandson Spencer’s Chronic Zebra Foundation. She volunteered at schools, chaperoned trips, led brownie/girl scout groups. She shared her home with beloved cousin Franny for many years at various times. She always said her three daughters brought her three sons, they were that precious to her.

Charlotte was equally devoted to friends. One friend tells of how, after a grueling surgery, Charlotte came and took care of her, telling her husband “I’ve got this. Do what you have to do” so he could keep working. Many have commented that when they had problems, they would talk it out with her and find a solution. Many of her friends were younger, and she had no trouble keeping up with them! Everyone, friend and relative alike, raved about her hugs.

Her mind never stopped. If there was an issue, she analyzed it from every angle. Even in her last weeks, in the midst of her own pain and discomfort, she spent one night worrying about her granddaughter’s new apartment and where the emergency exit would be if she needed it. She certainly never gave up on trying to improve the quality of her own life. Right to the end she was searching for a solution to her own problems, finding a doctor who would have the key to fix what ailed her, combing through catalogues for things that might make her life more comfortable or easier.

Charlotte was a romantic, and loved a good love story. She was supportive of all couples, as long as they were in love, starting when her own daughter wanted to marry someone from outside the faith, even promising to ‘sneak out of the house’ to attend the wedding if necessary. It carried through to some of her granddaughters as well. She was accepting of all people.
Vanity thy name is Charlotte. She always cared about her looks. The last trips out of the house other than doctors’ appointments were to the hair and nail salons. In her final hospital stay, when the nurse complimented her on her nails, she said ‘oh, no, they’re shabby, they need to be done’. In her weakest moments, she insisted her hair be combed, and one loyal aide helped her with lipstick and blush. She looked beautiful right to the end.

She loved to be needed. After becoming a widow in her seventies, she became a school volunteer in Florida, helping out in a classroom for many years with a teacher who became a personal friend. In the last few years, her love of bridge, combined with her need to be needed, led her to become a mentor in her daughter’s bridge group. Again the girls, much younger than she, valued her skills and warmth.
She was an enthusiastic amateur thespian, participating in plays and reviews in temple and country clubs over the years. Her performance as Lola in Damn Yankees was one perfectly suited to her, and brought her acclaim from all who saw it.
She grew up poor, but claimed she didn’t know she was poor because they were happy. She supported causes that were important to her, becoming a member of Brandeis National Committee as soon as it was formed, was a volunteer for Israel Bonds, held many volunteer positions in temple sisterhood and her country clubs.

Due to current restrictions, services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brandeis National Committee Honoring our History Campaign ( or Good Shepherd Community Care (

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