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Elizabeth Molho

June 30, 1961 March 14, 2016
Elizabeth Molho
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Obituary for Elizabeth Molho

Elizabeth Molho, known as Lisa to her family and friends, died in Providence on Monday, 14 March, three months after being diagnosed with cancer. Lisa was born in Cleveland, Ohio on 30 June 1961, daughter of Anthony Molho and Brenda Neff Molho. She spent nearly her entire life in Providence, attending The Wheeler School and graduating from Classical School. While still in High School, she spent a year in a scuola media in Florence, Italy; upon her high-school graduation, before entering college, she also attended a lycée in Paris, France. Enrolled in Bryn Mawr College, she transferred to Brown University from which she graduated, with a BA in French Literature, in 1984. She then obtained a MA degree from Middlebury College, and a second MA from Lesley College. Following the examples of her grand-mother, father, aunt, and uncle, Lisa became a teacher, a profession she deeply loved and to which she was dedicated with rare commitment and devotion.
 
After a series of teaching assignments in Providence and Baltimore, where she taught French, Spanish, Italian, and computers, Lisa was appointed as a bi-lingual elementary teacher in the Providence School system, teaching first and second grades from 1990 until her death. Above all, Lisa was an old fashioned teacher, shunning the present fashion for standardized tests. She wanted her students to discover the pleasures of thinking, reading, and writing. Her students, many of them sons and daughters of recent immigrants, often did well; some of them, with Lisa’s active encouragement, went on to attend college. Lisa cared deeply for her students, and was known for devoting time after school hours to visiting their homes, discussing with parents their childrens’ problems and their aptitudes. She often purchased with her own funds books, school supplies, even clothing for her neediest students. Lisa was also an accomplished pianist. In her modest home, crammed to overflow with books, tapes of musical and other radio and TV programs, and school materials, she managed to fit two pianos, one for herself and the other for her students.
 
In addition to her students, Lisa was deeply devoted to her animals, the cats and dogs that, over the years, were her wards. She loved taking her dogs for walks along the beaches of Rhode Island, just as much as, in earlier years, she had loved visiting her relatives in Greece and her friends in Italy, where she enjoyed roaming through the Tuscan countryside and swimming in the Mediterranean. She was especially proud, and often talked about her multicultural background. On her mother’s side her ancestors included a passenger on the Mayflower, immigrants from England, Ireland, and Lithuania, while on her father’s side she descended from a long line of Sephardic Jews who centuries ago settled in the city of Salonica. She was as much at home speaking English as French, Spanish and Italian, and actively searched for chances to exercise her linguistic aptitude.  She was gentle, ever polite, and eager to assist people who were in need. Over the years, her friends knew with what insistence she defended her ideas, a trait of her character discovered by her doctors and nurses during the last months of her life. Yet, she was also sensitive to new ways of thinking, deeply respectful of cultural differences, and ever eager to explore questions about religion and the meaning of life and death.
 
In addition to her parents, she is survived by a sister and a niece, who live in Norwich, England, and a half sister in Athens, Greece. Her funeral will be held on Saturday, 19 March at 1:00 PM in the Historic Chapel of the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.
 


Her funeral will be held on Saturday, 19 March at 1:00 PM in the Historic Chapel of the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.

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