Louise Agnes Fishbein obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Louise Agnes Fishbein

March 26, 1926 - June 13, 2017

Obituary


Louise Fishbein passed away peacefully at her home on June 12, 2017. She was a devoted mother and cherished grandmother, a highly respected teacher in Arlington County Virginia's public school system, a lifelong advocate of progressive causes and an active participant in her community. The arc of her life took her from the mountains of New Hampshire to Washington, DC where she worked with leaders in education and politics and inspired leaders to be. Louise Agnes Pillsbury was born on March 26, 1926 in Grantham, New Hampshire, the younger child of Lyman and Margaret (nee...

Louise Fishbein passed away peacefully at her home on June 12, 2017. She was a devoted mother and cherished grandmother, a highly respected teacher in Arlington County Virginia's public school system, a lifelong advocate of progressive causes and an active participant in her community. The arc of her life took her from the mountains of New Hampshire to Washington, DC where she worked with leaders in education and politics and inspired leaders to be. Louise Agnes Pillsbury was born on March 26, 1926 in Grantham, New Hampshire, the younger child of Lyman and Margaret (nee Cotter) Pillsbury. At 18 she left Grantham and came to Washington to work as an FBI "fingerprint girl", part of a wave of rural women who were recruited to fill the federal government's growing clerical needs. She later worked as a librarian at the Washington Post where she met her husband Seymour, to whom she was married for 63 years. They settled in Arlington in 1957. They raised four sons and while doing so she served as a den mother and softball coach of Den 3, Cub Scout Pack 116. She regularly supported her children's school activities. In mid-life she started university coursework graduating Cum Laude from Marymount University in 1977. This resulted in a 27-year career as a public school teacher. She was highly regarded for her teaching skills and taught in Arlington, including at Claremont and Ft. Myer Elementary Schools and for many years at Kenmore Middle School. Even her youngest students were assured of a comprehensive introduction to the works of Shakespeare. Louise received the Washington Post's Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher award for the 1993-1994 school year. Louise was active in local politics and state and local educational issues. She lobbied Congress for more accurate food labeling. She joined efforts to support civil rights marchers in the 1960s and participated in supporting rights of farm workers. She opened her home to anti-war activists in the 1970s. She was a Democratic precinct captain in the Westover Precinct. In 1992 Louise was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and in 2004 she received the Virginia Democratic Committee's Grassroots Award for the 8th Congressional District. Louise worked actively in the Arlington Education Association where she was a past president of the retirees chapter and served on the Executive Board. Louise also served as the Secretary of the Virginia Education Association's Retirement Council and often spent weekends lobbying in Richmond for educational and other policies. Louise was devoted to her family, had many friends, and enjoyed spending time at the beach in Delaware, in the mountains near her New Hampshire childhood home and in her garden. She was fiercely proud of her Irish heritage and loved recounting her return to her family's farm in Inchigeelagh, County Cork, Ireland. She was predeceased by her husband, her parents, her brother Paul and her five beloved rescue dogs. She is survived by her sons Jonathan, Jeffrey, James and Jerry, her daughters in-law Martha Fishbein, Kim Gilman, Jacqueline Heilman and her eight grandchildren, Sarah, Katie, Alex, Skye, Marina, Eli, Aaron and Cotter. There will be a graveside service on Thursday, June 22 at 2 p.m. at Columbia Gardens Cemetery, 3411 Arlington Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201. A reception will be held at Murphy Funeral Home 4510 Wilson Blvd. Arlington following the service. It will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Arlington Community Foundation Scholarships, 818 N. Quincy Street, Suite 103, Arlington, VA, 22203 or to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr, Arlington, VA, 22206.