Dorothy Kurjan died peacefully with relatives by her side in Lenox Feb. 22, 2018, shortly after her 96th birthday Feb. 16. Born in 1922, Dorothy was the second of three sisters born in New York City to her parents Ella Sternberg Levinsohn and Herman Levinsohn, M.D. She graduated from Brooklyn College. She subsequently met her husband, the late Homer Lewis Kurjan, whom she married in San Antonio, Texas, in 1945 upon Homer’s army deployment there.
Dorothy moved to Windsor, Connecticut, and raised three children: Michael, Diane and Peter. In 1963 the family moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where Dorothy volunteered in many groups. These included: the Cerebral Palsy Parents Group, working on the board of the Urban Coalition, the Berkshire Association for Families and Children, and the state Department of Mental Health, as well as serving as president of the board of Berkshire Mental Health and serving as the president of the League of Women’s Voters of Central Berkshire County. She also worked as a child advocate for the state Office for Children in Pittsfield from 1973–81.
Dorothy was a compassionate people person who believed in people and social justice–a friend and encourager to all. She had a great sense of humor and loved to travel, knit, play bridge and scrabble, do puzzles, cook, and entertain guests and family. For the last 18 years, she lived at the Kimball Farms retirement community in Lenox, where, among many activities, she raised prize-winning orchids. She is survived by her son Michael and wife Karla Erickson of Westbrook, Connecticut; her daughter, Diane Blagdon, and grandson Daniel Blagdon, both of Maryland; as well as her sister Myra Perlmutter of Atlanta, Georgia. Her husband, Homer, died in 2001. Her son, Peter, died in 1991. Dorothy will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held in the future. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a local children’s organization in Berkshire County.