Deborah Cantor Glasser, who passed away on the morning of July 19, 2021, led a fulfilling life for her 100 years. She grew up in Patchogue, Long Island, with her brother Jack, graduated from Duke University in the ’30s (when very few women went there), and went on to do graduate work at Smith College. She interrupted her career to marry Joe Glasser of Springfield, and moved to Natick, where they raised their two boys, William and Jeffrey.
When the boys were in college, Deborah went back to school and completed her graduate work at Boston University’s School of Social Work in the turbulent ’60s, where she enjoyed occasionally running into her son William on campus.
Deb and Joe moved to Andover, where Joe built the Raytheon Andover plant, and ran the Space and Information Systems Division. Deborah went to work at the Lawrence Community Center as a social worker, always interested in helping those in need. An early member of the League of Women Voters, she made time to inform and educate on the value of community participation. She was a champion of women’s rights and tolerance on all levels.
In her early days, winter weekends were often spent up at Mount Snow, and in the Andover years, in Waterville Valley, where downhill skiing was replaced by cross-country. After retirement, she and Joe spent winters in Boca Raton, Fla., where Deb could be seen heartily swimming almost every morning.
Deb was an early member at Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha’s Vineyard, and golfed well into her 90s. After many years of summering on the Vineyard, she moved to Hidden Cove in Oak Bluffs, and became a beloved member of the Vineyard community. She volunteered at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital gift shop, and lived out her last days at home under her own steam, with help from her son, Jeff, and many friends of all ages, with whom she kept lucid and meaningful counsel right up to the end. Well into her 90s, she continued her desire to be of service, and when asked on her 100th birthday what she wanted, she said she hoped for a better future for all of us.
Graveside services will be at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Cemetery, West Spring Street, Vineyard Haven, on Thursday, July 22, at 11:30 am. A memorial service will be planned for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Farm Neck Foundation, P.O. Box 1656, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, farmneck.net/foundation.