Obituary: Lillian (Bachman) Offner, 95
Lillian (Bachman) Offner of Darien died peacefully in her home on January 28. She was 95 years old.
She is predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Abe Offner, and survived by their children, Carl D. (and Susan) Offner of Sudbury, Mass., and Bonnie Willdorf of San Francisco, Calif.; grandchildren Megan Willdorf, David Offner (and Tessa Warren), Nina (and Michael) Endelman, Amy Offner, and Julia (and Nicholas) Campins; as well as six great-grandchildren.
Moving to Darien in 1949 was an achievement for a woman born 29 years earlier in the Polish shtetl of Radymno. Lillian's father, a sheet-metal worker, moved the family to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in 1928. Upon arriving in the U.S., her name was changed from Leba to Lillian, and she became the only member of her family to attend college, graduating from Brooklyn College where she majored in speech pathology. She developed a lifelong fascination with the city's cultural institutions and left-wing politics, and while she lost all her Polish, she and Abe enjoyed Yiddish conversation, theater, and literature throughout their lives.
They arrived in Darien at a time when Jews were still barred from most of the town, and became founding members of The Fellowship for Jewish Learning in Stamford. While raising children in the 1950s, Lillian earned a masters degree and became a speech therapist in local schools.
She opposed the Vietnam War, loved to tell her grandchildren about seeing John L. Lewis walking next to her in a march in New York City, and lamented the expulsion of communists from the Congress of Industrial Unions. She played the piano and sang; she and Abe used to go to the New York City Opera and brought their children and grandchildren to hear classical music. She loved to swim and was most certainly not embarrassed to float in a busy swimming pool wearing a t-shirt and snorkel mask. She proved that you can eat butter cookies and still live a long life. She was proud of her family, and with them and others, she was not fooling around. She wanted the drapes either opened or closed at all times, she sent back food in restaurants, and she got what she wanted in life. Her quote in her high school yearbook: "perseverance wins."
Services were private.