On Thursday, November 15, 2018, Lilian Grauberg Bein, loving mother and grandmother, passed away at age 88.
She was born on January 10, 1930 in Tõrva, Estonia, to Albert and Rosalie Grauberg. After fleeing war-torn Estonia in 1944 and living in an Estonian Displaced Persons camp in Geislingen, Germany, she and her family emigrated to America in 1950. They settled in Willimantic, Connecticut, where Lilian married Philip Bein in 1956.
They had a son and daughter, Nathan and Monica, and raised them primarily in Florence, South Carolina, where they lived from 1961-1975 while Philip was General Manager of the Electro Motive Manufacturing Company. The Beins moved to Darien, Connecticut in 1975 when Philip retired. He passed away in December 1994 and Lilian moved first to New Jersey to be near Monica and her family, then to Alexandria, Virginia to live with Nathan in 2000.
Lilian had a passion for her family, her Estonian heritage and the arts, and she left her mark wherever she lived. In Florence, she founded the Florence Symphony Guild, helped set up the library at James F. Byrnes Academy (which Philip helped establish and her children attended) and was a state representative for the National Federation of Music Clubs. While in Darien, Lilian was President of The Foundation for Estonian Arts and Letters for 10 years, and a long-time member of the Estonian American National Council, New York Estonian Educational Society and Schubert Music Club.
She would answer the call for any Estonian coming to the New York area. No one put her out; she was happy to be of service. Lilian came to this country with very little, but she accomplished much, made the most of her opportunities and was not afraid to lead and fight for what she loved most. We will miss her spirit, her support and her love.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her mother and father, two sisters, twin Gorinne Diffley and Astra Niisuke, and brother-in-law Alfred Niisuke. She is survived by son Nathan Bein, daughter Monica Bein-Cravotta, son-in-law Andrew Cravotta, and grandchildren Laine Astra Cravotta and Erik Philip Cravotta.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, November 23, 1:00 pm at the Mausoleum & Chapel at Kensico Cemetery, 273 Lakeview Ave., Valhalla, New York, followed by the interment. The family suggests memorial contributions be made in her name to The Foundation for Estonian Arts and Letters () or the New York Estonian Educational Society.