Eleanor Reicher died June 30, at age 106, at her home in Newport Beach. Fiercely independent, she fought all attempts at assisted living, and survived two pandemics. She was born in Brooklyn and raised on Staten Island. A true New Yorker, she enjoyed hot dogs (with just mustard) and classical music at Carnegie Hall. She and the love of her life, Arthur, attended Fordham University, where in 1939 Eleanor earned her bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature.
In 1953 they moved to Los Angeles with their two children, Bob and Cella. A few years later, Eleanor earned her masters degree in teaching at USC. She taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 17 years, and was later principal of a private school. Eleanor was a voracious reader and helped develop the district’s reading curriculum. In her retirement, Eleanor proudly served as a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for 12 years. She adored her dog Spot, a chihuahua whose portrait hung in her hallway – near her collection of Belleek China and Charles Dickens figurines.
Eleanor kept active in the arts for decades, volunteering at museums in Long Beach and in Orange County. After Art died in 1989, Eleanor developed close friends in Long Beach, where she lived for about 10 years before moving to Newport Beach, to be closer to family. From the opera to community theater, the symphony or musicals, Eleanor seemed to always be going to a performance with a friend.
Through her 90s and 100s she volunteered for local nonprofit organizations, including the Assistance League, the Orange County Museum of Art and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Born Eleanor Garber on February 16, 1916, she is survived by her daughter Cella Baker, son Robert Reicher, granddaughters Andrea Falk and Christina Ball, grandson Michael Reicher, and great grandchildren Connor, Clayton and Brady.
The family will hold a memorial service on Friday, July 15, 11:30 a.m. at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills. In lieu of flowers, they ask for donations in Eleanor's memory to the American Association of University Women.