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Stepheny Beth Riemer

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Devoted to Her Family, Her Art, and Philanthropy Stepheny Beth Kotzen Riemer, 74, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2022, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston from complications of Parkinson’s Disease. She was born in Malden on May 6, 1947, a daughter of Gilbert and Marcia (Brown) Kotzen. Apart from the first nine years of her life in Malden, Stepheny was a lifetime resident of Newton. Stepheny captivated every room she visited with color and creativity. A graduate of Simmons College with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she pursued her curiosity with a life of giving of herself to others through volunteering, philanthropy, and art-making. She made a meaningful difference in the lives of those around her. She devoted her life to her husband, two children, and three granddaughters yet had space in her heart for her many relatives and friends, along with welcoming into her home two foster children and several “little brothers” from the Jewish Big Brother program. She spent countless hours volunteering, including time at the JCC and JF&CS. Her philanthropic efforts mirrored her passions and interests in the arts, the Jewish community, and Parkinson’s Disease programming and research. Her passion for the arts started young and evolved over the years. From theater as a youth to fine arts as an adult, she was able to find ways to express herself creatively. Stepheny’s playfulness and talent radiate from the hundreds — if not thousands — of her unique works of art. She regularly attended art workshops and classes to expand her knowledge, challenge herself and establish an outlet of expression. One of her most iconic mediums was her intricate mosaics, where she meticulously painted eggshells, bringing the pieces to life through flower bouquets, circus scenes, and ocean landscapes. She participated in many art shows over the years, proudly displaying her creations. Not only did she gift the world with her artistic spirit, Stepheny constantly gave the gift of art supplies and opportunity, teaching young and old how to craft, create, and see beauty where others may not. She had the remarkable ability to see color and share unique perspectives. Stepheny’s Parkinson’s Disease did not prevent her from engaging in her passions. Her memory remained impeccable; she never forgot a detail, recalling and commemorating the most specific personal moments of everyone around her. She adapted to her diminishing dexterity and continued to paint, draw, collage, and inspire. She did not let the challenges of the disease impact her from sharing her incredible imagination. Not only was Stepheny memorable for her generosity, artistic nature, and deep love for her family, but also her sense of humor. She knew how to light up any experience and bring a hearty laugh to a dinner table. Stepheny had the ability to bring out everyone’s most enthralling and uplifting deep-belly-laugh, not just a superficial chuckle. There was never a dull moment when she was in the room. In addition to all those who she touched with her inspiration, she lives on through her husband of 53 years Robert L. Riemer of Newton; sister Linda Kotzen Paresky and her husband David Paresky of Miami, FL; son Adam Riemer of Brookline; daughter Mara Riemer Goldstein and her husband Robert Goldstein of Brookline; and grandchildren Hannah Goldstein, Sophie Goldstein, and Lila Goldstein. Contributions in her memory may be made to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center by visiting www.bidmc.org/give/ways-to-give, selecting gift designation as “other (specify below)” and including “Stepheny Riemer/Parkinson’s Disease” or by check made payable to “Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center” with “Stepheny Riemer/Parkinson’s Disease” in the memo line, and mailed to: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Philanthropy, 330 Brookline Avenue (OV), Boston, MA 02215.

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