OBITUARY: Edward Rosenthal, 89

Edward Rosenthal,Beloved husband of Helen B. Rosenthal (nee Missel) for over 66 years, passed away on April 7.  Loving father of Steven (Joan) Rosenthal, Joel (Patricia) Rosenthal and Mara (Gary) Friedman. 

“Papa” was the intensely proud grandfather of 8 grandchildren: Lee (Kathryn), Jon (Kayla Zerfoss), Alex Rosenthal; Sarah (Benjamin Bronstein) and David (Eleanor) Rosenthal; Max (Sonja Eliason), Michael, and Ariella Friedman.  Great grandfather to Hazel, Warren, and Ellis Rosenthal.  Preceded in death by his dear sister Rosalyn (Kit) Lovin.

Ed was born on May 10, 1934 to Louis and Fannie Rosenthal of Dorchester where he was raised on Castlegate Road in a close family of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  He was a graduate of Boston Latin School (’52) where he was elected President of his senior class and Captain of the Wolfpack football team.  He was a four-year letterman in football and selected to the Massachusetts All-Scholastic Team in 1951.

The first in his family to go to college, Ed was honored to receive a full scholarship from the Harvard Club of Boston to attend Harvard College.  He never forgot the generosity and encouragement he received from his alumni sponsors.  Ed very much enjoyed his years in Cambridge, playing varsity football, studying both government and pre-med, and forming close lifelong friendships with his roommates and teammates.

After graduating from Harvard in 1956, Ed married the love of his life, Helen, who he met at age 14 as a high school freshman.  As a newlywed, Ed entered Harvard Dental School to earn his DMD degree and post-doctoral training in orthodontics at Harvard.  During this time, Ed and Helen welcomed their two sons while living in Allston.

In 1962, Ed and Helen moved to Marblehead, fulfilling their dream to live by the ocean.  Ed opened his orthodontic practice in Salem (later with an office in Marblehead) where he worked for 40 years.  Ed was passionate about his work and his patients, and he took great pleasure in being deeply committed to community life in Salem, Marblehead and across the North Shore.  In 1966 he got his wish for a daughter, born on his birthday, May 10!

Among Ed’s numerous community activities and various philanthropic endeavors were years of leadership roles and service at Harvard College, Boston Latin School, Temple Sinai, Harvard University Library Judaica Program, the Jewish Federation of the North Shore and many other local organizations in Salem and Marblehead.  

More than anything, Ed was a family man, fiercely devoted to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and taking great joy and delight in his life with Helen. Together they traveled the entire world, including adventures to Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, the Galapagos, the former Soviet Union, as well as multiple impactful family trips to Israel.  In addition, they never missed a single game, recital, performance, graduation, or award ceremony for any family member.  

In his retirement years, Ed continued his lifelong interest in learning and reading, acquiring the full 300 volume set of the Library of America.  He also learned and mastered the art of stone sculpture, producing pieces that will be treasured for years to come.  While he enjoyed every moment with his growing family, nothing gave him more pleasure than walking the beaches of Naples, FL with his sweetheart Helen.  

A graveside service will be held at Dorchester Hebrew Helping Hand Cemetery, 232 Fuller St. Everett, MA on Monday, April 10 at 10:30 AM.  

Due to the Passover holiday there will be no formal Shiva, but friends and family are warmly invited to gather at the home of Steve and Joan Rosenthal on Monday after the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Ed to support Dr. Bradley McGregor’s cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.  Please write checks payable to Dana-Farber and include the “Edward and Helen B. Rosenthal Research Fund” in the memo line.

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