Ann Gordon Steinberg, of Somerville, died Sunday, February 14, 2021, of mesothelioma, at the age of 79. Born Margaret Ann Gordon, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Donald and Celeste Gordon, she grew up in Waynesboro, Virginia, with her parents and her younger siblings, Mary and Don. She attended Smith College, graduating in 1963, and completed a master of arts and teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Education the following year. The first part of her career in education included establishing and running language laboratories at Salem State Teachers College and Southern Connecticut Teachers College.
Ann married Robert Stephen Steinberg in 1965. They had two children, Benjamin Rush and Sarah Elizabeth; being Ben and Sarah’s mother was a joy to her all her life. The family moved from New Haven to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and then to Newton, following Bob’s medical career. In Newton, Ann converted to Judaism. An enthusiastic cook all her life, she was particularly known for her roast chicken, matzo ball soup, and especially challah.
Ann and Bob separated in 1978. She then went to Radcliffe where she got a certificate in landscape design. She and a business partner practiced residential landscape design for eight years, honing her natural and keen sense of aesthetics.
In 1987, she started working in the development office of The Park School in Brookline. Five years later, she found her true calling, in teaching, with the third grade. Five years after that, she changed to fourth grade, where she taught for another seven years. After a brief attempt at retirement, she began teaching at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge as a tutor, where she worked for eleven years. She is remembered fondly by many students, parents, and colleagues.
Ann was a gifted gardener, most recently growing vegetables and flowers in the garden she laid out in the back yard of the triple-decker she shared with her son and his wife, Darla. She was a member of the Somerville Garden Club, serving as the vice president for several years.
Her garden was one of the subjects of her photography, along with friends, travels, and nature. She made some of her pictures into cards and sold them, but never let entrepreneurial success spoil her fun.
Ann was an avid reader, most recently discovering the writers Elizabeth Bowen, Magda Szabó, and Penelope Fitzgerald, whose work she commends to your attention.
She had many friends, and was a superb friend. Not long before the end of her life, she helped two of her dear friends, Trish Hogan and Nancy Faulkner, at the ends of theirs.
In addition to all her friends, Ann leaves her son Benjamin and his wife Darla Ann White, her daughter Sarah, her sister Mary Gordon Neff, her brother Donald Alexander Gordon and his wife Mary Joan, and Don’s children Christopher, Ryan, Taylor, and Casey Rose.