Hannah (Leavitt) Heifetz, 90, of Andover and formerly of Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill, died Tuesday morning, Feb. 3, at UMass Medical Center, Worcester.
She was born in Haverhill, April 12, 1924, daughter of the late Louis M. and Mary (Hodes) Leavitt. Educated in the Haverhill school system, Heifetz graduated from Haverhill High, class of 1941. She earned her Elementary Education Teaching Degree from Bridgewater Teachers College, now known as Bridgewater State University. She was a diligent and determined student who loved the profession that her hard work allowed her to pursue. Heifetz began her teaching career in East Hartford, Conn., where she taught for two years prior to moving to Methuen. She taught there for 24 years, first in the Marsh School and then the Ashford, from which she retired in 1981. Throughout her career, Heifetz earned the great respect, admiration and affection of students, parents and colleagues alike. Widely renowned as a tireless advocate for each individual child in her class, she provided whatever supports they needed to fulfill their respective potentials. More than 1,000 first and second-graders received from Heifetz an exemplary foundation for learning and its joys. She was a member of the Massachusetts Retired Teachers Association. A life member of Hadassah and an active member of Temple Emanu-El (Haverhill) Sisterhood early in her retirement, Heifetz subsequently joined Congregation Beth Israel in Andover. She worked enthusiastically for many years with the Vision Support Group of Greater Lawrence and the Protestant Guild for the Blind, and also taught English to Jewish immigrants from Russia. She made numerous deep and enduring friendships through these endeavors, bringing out the best in all who were privileged to know her. Her thoughtfulness, charm and good humor–no matter the challenging circumstances–were unparalleled. These exceptional qualities of heart and mind also made her a highly valued contributor to the Book Discussion Group and the Writing Group at the Andover Senior Center.
Heifetz was the wife of the late Edward Heifetz who died in 1991 after a marriage of 47 years. Her survivors include a daughter, Jane Karen Heifetz and her husband Lawrence James Fuhrman, M.D; two sons, Louis James Heifetz, PhD and his wife Joanne Eichinger, PhD, and Irvin Neil Heifetz, M.D; a grandson, Isaac Henry Heifetz Fuhrman; and several nieces and nephews. All reveled in the blessing of having such an inspirational woman in their lives. Heifetz was also the youngest sibling of the late William and Solomon Leavitt, Morris and Isador Leavitt, David Leavitt and Gertrude Levin, her best friend during the early years of her life and her trusted confidant always.
A memorial observance takes place Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m., Feb. 8 at the home of Jane Heifetz, 7 Saddle Club Road, Lexington. Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Funeral Service Friday, Feb. 6, at Congregation Beth Israel, 501 South Main St., Andover. Burial will be in Congregation Tifereth Israel Cemetery, Lawrence.
The family would be pleased if any contributions in memory of Mrs. Heifetz were made to the Haverhill Jewish Scholarship Loan Association, Inc., Temple Emanu-El, 514 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830. Alternatively, please consider your temple or synagogue, or any charitable organization whose work would honor Mrs. Heifetz.