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Lillian Epstein, 80, Paramus Resident

PARAMUS, N.J. -- Paramus resident Lillian Esther (Klyde) Epstein passed away after a battle with Alzheimer's Disease on Nov. 1. She was 80.

Epstein was born onSeptember 20, 1935 to the late Dr. Murray and Eva Klyde. She was the valedictorian of her high school class, attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and graduated from Barnard College. She later received a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickenson University.

Lillian was passionate about raising her four children and immersed herself in their activities. When her children were young, Lillian was President and Trustee of the Paramus Cooperative Nursery School, Trustee of Temple Shalom School Board, Program Chairperson of the Oradell PTA, Trustee of The Center for Modern Dance Education and the President of Traetta's Gymnastic Elite Parent's Association.

In the late 1980's, Epstein founded the Bergen County PFLAG chapter and built it into a thriving group. This was the start of her advocacy and leadership for LGBT rights. She spoke to schools and community groups throughout New Jersey and ledseveral media campaigns. In 2003, the New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Epstein is  survived by her husband, Shelly Epstein; her four children, Meryl Epstein and her spouse, Trish Nuzzola of Newton, Mass.; Divya Epstein-Lubow and her husband, Gary Epstein-Lubow of Providence, R.I.; Kenny Epstein and his wife, Wendy of Westport, Conn. and Rachel Schapiro and her husband, Danny of Ridgewood; brother, Joseph Klyde and his wife, Judy of Englewood Cliffs; and 10 grandchildren.

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