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Mount Sinai Obituaries and Services » Lillian Rivlin

Lillian Rivlin

January 5, 1927 - July 24, 2020

Service Information Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills

Service Date: Thursday August 6th, 2020

Service Time: 10:00 am

Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills

5950 Forest Lawn Drive

Los Angeles, California 90068

Inquire at Booth for directions

Obituary Viewed 330 times

Posted by:
Linda Rivlin

Posted on:
August 5, 2020

Thank you so much, dear friends, for your kind messages of condolence. Losing Alan's mother in this pandemic time is indeed a modern tragedy for our whole family and so many others coping with the Covid-complicated natural rites of passage. We will eventually come to terms with the fact that she was finally so tired here, she just wanted to be with her husband in the hereafter. Their wartime "arranged" teenage marriage had thrived for nearly 75 years. A quiet, extraordinarily kind and thoughtful man, Alan's dad had grown even quieter, weaker, and after 12 years of their both coping with his Alzheimer's, he was gone. For four years, she mourned not only him, but the loss of her purpose. We were naive to think our ministrations could restore her will to survive. Tomorrow, our mortuary-approved small band of 10 - my husband and I, our three daughters, and our five grandchildren - will finally say goodbye to an incredible woman. And we will try to move on, remembering - albeit masked and from a distance - how she fearlessly created, nurtured, inspired, and enriched all our lives. Thank you for all the love you have shown, Linda Rivlin

Posted by:

Posted on:
July 29, 2020

Lil and Chuck began their almost 75-year marriage through the matchmaking prowess of the matriarchs of two eastside Jewish families, Rose (Lil’s grandmother) and Esther Chuck’s mother). Putting their heads together, these two widows launched the futures of effervescent Lillian Evelyn, age 16, and quiet, thoughtful Charles Nathan, age 18. It helped that the kids were pretty much “over the moon” for each other once they had met at Lillian’s 16th birthday party on January 5. So when the women asked “der kinder” if they wanted to get married, the kids said, “Sure!” No proposal necessary, they were married by a rabbi at home on April 18, 1943, and honeymooned by “P” car overnight at a small hotel in Santa Monica. Chuck had to go to work on Monday. The addition of their war baby Alan on March 12, 1944, made their family complete. Lillian lovingly cared for cute, strawberry-blond curly-headed Alan, right down to cleaning and polishing his little white shoes as soon as they got dirty or scuffed. With her mother and grandmother occupying the adjoining duplex, she quickly absorbed the domestic lessons they lovingly imparted. She put clean, bundled Alan into her bicycle basket and rode to the nearby neighborhood market for provisions. As he grew, she pushed him in his tailor-tot. When Charlie brought home his pay, he turned it over to Lillian as his mother had instructed, and Lillian deftly handled the budget. For over 53 years Lillian was my second mother, but I was her first daughter. She adopted me as her own almost immediately after Alan introduced us over the phone. She was exuberantly generous, stylish as Sears fashions afforded, and always beautifully coiffed. And even though she once gave me a mini make-over, complete with the latest cat’s-eye makeup (the style and color of which we agreed did not quite suit the still-natural-blonde me, but the Polaroid remains), at 19, I knew she was the most clever, funniest, smartest, most outspoken, loving, compassionate, and wisest woman I had ever met. I felt so fortunate to be welcomed into the big, beautiful family of aunties, uncles, and cousins at a long-ago weekend barbeque. They all had gathered at Betty’s home in the Valley to celebrate something that fall afternoon. Right away, I felt like I belonged. I loved Alan, but his family sealed the deal. Lil was always a loving, devoted daughter, sister, mother, and aunt. And even though she was extremely fearful of flying, when we announced we were getting married in Menlo Park in June 1967, she and Chuck bit the bullet and took the 45-minute flight to SFO. I thought she looked a little green at the gills in our wedding Polaroids. As I reflect on that now, she must have been thinking she had survived to see us married but now was dreading the flight back home! She and Chuck waited (although sometimes not too patiently) for nearly six years to become Grandmama and Grandpapa, and even at the baby shower, they began to make up for lost time. Once our first daughter Erin arrived in 1973, her every imagined wish was their desire! In addition to devotion to family, Lil was always a true friend to so many – lending her ear, their couch for the night (or longer), their car, or whatever was needed – and their friends returned in kind. I remember her longtime friend Stella once loaned us her prized Lincoln Continental to attend our friends’ Princess Louise wedding. Bill, Alan’s former roommate (adopted by Lil long before me as her other son!) drove one of our cars as we relocated from San Mateo down to L. A., and Al Hertz (husband of Lil’s childhood friend Frances) in 1968 helped us schlep our furniture into the apartment that Alan had found in West Hollywood - right across the street from his parents! I had never seen it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious and light-filled it was. And they were the perfect in-laws - nearby, but not too close, so that each family had their own independence. We took fun car trips together, enjoyed Farmer’s Market, and frequently visited family in the O.C., entertained our families together. She also cared for her beloved Chuck through thick and thin. Life threw them some big punches, but they fought back (their way) and stuck together. After losing a tiny baby boy at birth when Alan was 6, Lil soon took an office job with Sears, Roebuck on Soto Street in East L. A., following cousin/sister Betty and Chuck’s lead. For decades, Lil and Chuck had carpooled together to their respective Sears locations, rising before dawn and returning home sometimes after dark in the winter. They enjoyed learning new things and the sense of accomplishment they gained through their decades of work at Sears. They also both endured unchecked workplace racism and anti-Semitism of the 50s and 60s by not only some co-workers but some supervisors as well. Even as Lil was mentored and groomed by her for a supervisorial job, her female boss had no compunction about deriding Jews, fully knowing Lil’s heritage. And when Lil came to work one day, her hair permed and shaped into a stylish 70s “Afro,” you can imagine the comments that spit out of that vile woman’s mouth. Michelle Obama had decades to appropriately comment, “When they go low, we go high.” Chuck and Lil were already living that motto. Lil’s workplace friends became lifelong friends – both Elsa and Yolanda had called within hours, before, and after Lil’s her passing, lifting our spirits with their recollections and good humor. As Alan was beginning junior high, Lil and Chuck bought a cute model home (fully furnished!) in the Tampa Park Estates of Reseda in 1956, still commuting to their East L.A. jobs. Long before the “gig” economy was a thing, they piled on side jobs to their long days. Lillian had crystal parties for her friends, Chuck had his own sideline as a wedding photographer. Their families and friends followed them to the Valley, perhaps encouraged by the popular song lyrics, “I’m gonna settle down and never more roam, and make the San Fernando Valley my home,” sung by #1 crooner Bing Crosby in 1944. Life was good as they laughed and played with family and friends. Lillian and Chuck – Alan too – did their chores diligently and routinely, modeling for Alan the discipline he needed to be a bachelor in the world. When he graduated Reseda High School in 1962, he had the life tools few of his peers possessed, enough to strike out on his own. As a sometimes latch-key kid, he also had the independence and confidence to do anything he chose. When Alan and I wanted to purchase a home and start a family after the Sylmar earthquake, we too had the good fortune to buy a model home just off Tampa in Porter Ranch in late 1971. Shortly after, Chuck and Lil bought their Encino condominium to be closer to “the kids.” In time, they became devoted grandparents to two more beautiful granddaughters, Danielle after 6 years, and Brianne another 4 years later. The girls often week-ended with them and were indulged and loved unconditionally by these young, hip grandparents. So many memories of good times spent together – for our girls, treasured yearly visits and “camp-outs” at the Escondido Welk Resort timeshare Lillian and Chuck had purchased in the late 80s, Uncle Bernie’s Sunday brunches, Buca di Beppo birthday fetes, and of course, virtually every athletic or dramatic performance, grandparents’ day, graduation, wedding, and the births of their fabulous great-grandchildren (Samantha, Shaina, Sophia-Marie, Alexander, and Charlotte Rose). Through all the holiday celebrations ever held in the Rivlin family, they were always present in our lives… And now we grieve our Lillian who made her dramatic exit in the time of COVID-19, not because of this pandemic, but in spite of it. We will forever console ourselves, in the loss of our incredible, vivacious mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, that she would only leave us to be with her honey – Chuck – and that they are now together for all time. May their memory always be a blessing. “…I’m gonna settle down and never more roam, and make the San Fernando Valley my home.” Linda Rivlin We are so grateful for all the love and support both Charles and Lillian received in their final days – Anna, Christina, Karina, and all their wonderful caregivers; Vanya, our angel on earth, the many hospice providers, and all our friends and family who continue to support us in our pandemic present, who make us feel how lucky we are to be loved – past, present, future, and always. Each of you forever holds a special place in our hearts. Virtual hugs and kisses to you all until we can celebrate each other in person!