Niskayuna - Phyllis Rosenthal Ritterband, 92, of Niskayuna passed away on May 3, 2023. She was born and raised in Schenectady and graduated from Nott Terrace High School in 1948 and Russell Sage College in 1952 with high honors in sociology. She was described in the yearbook as “capability coupled with a captivating smile and dark brown eyes that spell enchantment.” She met the love of her life, Arnold Ritterband, at the wedding of her good friend Cynthia Silver and Arnold’s medical school classmate Clifford Tepper. Their long-distance romance between Schenectady and New York City culminated in marriage in 1957. They moved to New York City where Arnold established a private medical practice and their son Alan was born in 1959. In the early 1960s, they moved back to Schenectady where their daughter Vicki and son David were born.
Phyllis’s children and grandchildren were her pride and joy and she loved hosting holiday gatherings well into her late 70s. She was an outstanding cook and no one ever left her table hungry. She enjoyed playing tennis, antiquing in Vermont, and attending the U.S. Open every year. An avid Jeopardy watcher, she would have been a formidable contestant and given Ken Jennings a run for his money. After their kids left for college, Phyllis returned to Russell Sage to become certified in alcohol and drug counseling.
She was known for her sardonic humor, her love of detective shows (she always solved the crime within the first 10 minutes) and her mastery of the Sunday New York Times crossword, which she always completed in pen. Phyllis was an avid reader, sometimes devouring several detective novels a week. She was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Arnold, her parents Victor and Rebecca Rosenthal, and her sister Ann Rosenthal.
She is survived by her three children, Alan (Beth Altman), Vicki, and David (Corinne Tobin); grandchildren, Sara, Lauren, Mollie, Abby, Leah, Gabriel, Julian, and Rebecca; grand-dogs Tucker and Gatsby; and her wonderful aides, Rosie and Sunny.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Phyllis’s memory may be made to Agudat Achim Synagogue, 2117 Union St, Schenectady, NY 12309.
Funeral services will be held graveside at 11 am Friday May 5, 2023 at Agudat Achim Cemetery, Schermerhorn St. in Rotterdam.
For those unable to attend in person the funeral services will be livestreamed and can be viewed by clicking the link below:
Livestream Link for Funeral Services of Phyllis Ritterband
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