A vibrant soul and forever young at heart, Elissa “Lovey” Epstein passed away on April 15, 2021. A born and bred New Yorker, Elissa was raised on Riverside Drive by her parents, Lola and Charles Gottfried. Elissa is survived by her loving daughter, Debra, and her six adoring grandchildren Cliff, Luke, Hunter, Ali, Griffin, and Dash. She was pre- deceased by her husband and other two children, Jill and Mark. Elissa met the love of her life, Herbert Epstein, on vacation with her parents in Florida when she was still in college. Herbert professed his love for her on the first night. Within a year, they were married and began to build a fun loving, passionate and beautiful life, filled with laughter, joy, high ideals, and beauty. They raised their three children Jill, Mark, and Debra in Hewlett Harbor, New York, and Manhattan.  By leading through example, Elissa instilled in them a sense of curiosity in travel, food, culture, productivity, and creativity. Jill, Mark, and Debra inherited her wit, grace, and her ability to keep a room laughing endlessly.

Nothing constrained Lovey’s commitment to her ideals. From her involvement with Students for Stevenson to her participation in the Clinton Global Initiative, Elissa worked to make the world a better place. Her career in politics began with the Encampment for Citizenship, where she became an accolade of Algernon Black and met Allard Lowenstein. As one of Long Island’s most fervent supporters of the movement against the Vietnam War, she became one of Al Lowenstein’s strongest supporters for each of his congressional runs. Elissa later attended Hofstra University Law School, so she could find new ways to practically apply her values and ideals to the world around her. The status quo was never good enough for Elissa. She used her intellect, passion and heart for the rest of her life to support the women’s movement, the Clinton Global Initiative, The Common Good, Hofstra Law School and as well as many groups dedicated to preserving and improving the environment, all causes that she remained passionate about until her last days.

Elissa was known for her beauty, acerbic wit and strong sense of empathy. She was a giver no matter where she went – not just of money, but of herself, her mind, and her presence. No one could be around Elissa without feeling her strong vibe or without being invited to late afternoon cocktails. She created a spirited environment that people wanted to be surrounded by. Her presence was undeniable. A celebration of Elissa’s life will be held in July. Contributions in Elissa’s memory may be directed to the Environmental Defense Fund or to the New York Film Society.

Published in New York Times on Apr. 18, 2021.

Obituary courtesy of Legacy.com and the New York Times.  To view the obituary on Legacy.com, please click on https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=198369298