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Elizabeth (DiVirgilio) Seideman

January 2, 1927 ~ January 3, 2024 (age 97) 97 Years Old
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Elizabeth Seideman Obituary

Elizabeth Seideman passed away suddenly on Jan. 3, the day after her 97th birthday.

Born in 1927 in the village of Orsogna, Italy as Elisabetta DiVirgilio, "Betty" came to America at age 3 in the company of her mother, Maria DiRico DiVirgilio. Her father, a practicing anarchist, moved to America under pressure from the increasingly fascist government in the early 1920s.

Betty grew up with her younger brother, Henry, under the economic constraints of the great depression, first in the tenements of Manhattan's alphabet city and later in the quiet borough of Queens.

Seeking to become a professional actress, Betty trained away her Italian accent and performed in many community productions. She met her future husband, Richard Seideman, who was directing a production in which she had a leading role at the Ethical Culture Society.

The couple soon moved to the Queens suburb of Little Neck, NY, and then the village of Scarsdale, NY. As her children grew, Betty re-entered the workforce, and was employed by organizations from the Yonkers District Attorney's office to the Board of Cooperative Educational Services teaching Neurodiverse students, as well as Westchester Community College. After she retired, she enjoyed volunteering at the Teatown Lake Reservation and Phelps Memorial Hospital. When her husband Richard Seideman (deceased May 19, 2005) grew sick on a trip to Israel, she was so impressed with the treatment he received at a Hadassah hospital that upon returning home, she became the only woman of Italian descent to be an active member of her local Hadassah chapter.

She is survived by three children, Ellen Byron, a playwright, television writer-producer, and award-winning author; Tony, a photographer, trade reporter and publicist; and David, former award-winning editor-in-chief of Audubon Magazine and a leading expert in sports collectibles, as well as her cherished granddaughters Eliza Remillong and Adelia Seideman. 

Betty was widely known for her friendliness, interest in others, and participation in her extended Italian family. We miss her humor, wisdom and caring. The world has lost a treasure.

Close family will shortly hold a private memorial service. A celebration of her life will take place at a time and place to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Orsogna Mutual Aid Society (26-23 18th Street, Astoria, NY 11102) and Teatown Lake Reservation (Support Us - Teatown).

Please feel free to share a memory of Betty or pay your respects on the tribute wall below or through the “Share a Memory” link in the lefthand column.

WATERBURY & KELLY FUNERAL HOME

1300 Pleasantville Road

Briarcliff Manor, New York 10510

914-941-0838

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