Gloria Ravitch passed away peacefully on December 12th after a prolonged illness. A vibrant resident of the Bay Area since 1960, she most recently enjoyed living at the SF Towers where she was an active member of the Poetry Club, a library volunteer and ardent supporter of the arts.
Gloria Pearl Moskin was born in 1929 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York before attending the Dalton School. The family soon moved adjacent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan where Gloria spent many happy hours as a child wandering its collections. After attending Wellesley and Barnard College, her fluent French led her to jobs for a translator at the Coca-Cola Export Co. and for Henry Holt Publishers. In New York she met Donald Ravitch and they married in 1954. They moved to Scarsdale, NY and began a family of two daughters: Amy Friedricks (of Larkspur) and Jill Ravitch (of Sebastopol). In 1960, they moved to San Francisco where Donald became President of Sherman, Clay & Company and soon gave birth to son John (of Oakland). Gloria spent many years on the fundraising boards of the San Francisco Symphony Foundation and the SF Opera Guild in the 1960s and 1970s.
Gloria applied her museum knowledge initially as a Docent at the De Young Museum and Palace of the Legion of Honor. She quickly showed great prowess and matured into a respected Assistant Curator specializing in 17th-18th century European Decorative Arts and Sculpture. She was invited to present scholarly papers and talks on French and English furniture and co-created several of the De Young's famous period rooms. She loved sharing her expertise and passion for fine porcelain, silver and furniture with friends and colleagues. She was an active board member of the American Decorative Arts Forum and Humanities West, and Contributing Editor of the Docent Bulletins for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
In addition to her children, Gloria is survived by grandchildren Emily and Henry Friedricks, son-in-law Bruce Friedricks, daughter-in-law Doctor Adisa Willmer, and former husband, Donald Ravitch. A memorial service will be held on January 26th in San Francisco. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the San Francisco Food Bank.