June 25, 2014

NEC Mourning the Death of Aideen Zeitlin, Former Prep Violin Teacher, Conductor of Two Training Orchestras

Rebecca Bogers, Director of the NEC Preparatory School, passed along this obituary of the much loved violinist and teacher:

Aideen N. Zeitlin, 79, passed away on June 24, 2014 at Kendal at Oberlin where she resided for the last year. She is survived by her devoted husband of 53 years, Gerald Zeitlin, her children, Louise Zeitlin Howsmon and husband James Howsmon, Jonathan Zeitlin and wife Lisa Waltuch, Richard Stever-Zeitlin and wife Jill Stever-Zeitlin, and seven grandchildren, Rachel Howsmon, Andrew Howsmon, Benjamin Stever-Zeitlin, Samantha Stever-Zeitlin, Theo Zeitlin, Noa Zeitlin, and Eli Zeitlin. She was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Monica “Mona” (Shreider) Tolkin, and Louis “Jimmy” Tolkin.

An only child, Aideen was born in 1934 in a small but vibrant Jewish community in the Terenure neighborhood of Dublin, Ireland, where she was surrounded by a legion of loving aunts, uncles and cousins to whom she was devoted throughout her life. After World War II, her family moved to Westcliff-On-Sea in England. She attended the Royal College of Music in London and then pursued a successful violin career,performing in London and touring Europe with a succession of orchestras, and playing in show orchestras in the West End.

Aideen and Gerald were married in London in 1960. In 1965, they moved with two young children and Aideen’s mother to the Greater Boston area, first to Natick and later to Newton, where they raised their three children and developed enduring friendships with their friends there. Aideen continued to play violin in Boston, but also started to teach the instrument. Over time, she became one of the most influential violin teachers of young children in the Greater Boston Area. She also led two of the training orchestras at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

Aideen loved all that New England had to offer including swimming in the waves on Cape Cod and skiing in New Hampshire. Full of joy and optimism, Aideen’s spirit touched everybody she met. Her innate openness provided her with the unique gift of being able to go from complete stranger to close friend in seemingly a matter of minutes. She will be missed by all.

Funeral will be held at Westwood Cemetery in Oberlin on Thursday, June 26th at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Aideen N. Zeitlin Memorial Scholarship fund which will provide a scholarship for music lessons for a student in need at the Oberlin Community Music School.


MUSICIANS OWN MUSIC BECAUSE MUSIC OWNS THEM. VIRGIL THOMSON