Lucille P. Glassman

A docent at the Baltimore Museum of Art, she developed a maney management system that she taught to women.

November 22, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Lucille P. Glassman, a longtime Baltimore Museum of Art docent and teacher of money management classes, died Tuesday of pulmonary fibrosis at Roland Park Place. She was 86.

Lucille Pivnick, the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, was born and raised in Toronto.

She was studying nursing at the University of Toronto during the 1940s when she met and married Dr. Lionel Glassman.

The couple moved to Chicago, and while her then-husband completed a four-year residency in anesthesiology, she worked as beauty editor for Canadian Glamour Magazine.

In 1951, they moved to Baltimore and later settled in Pikesville, where Mrs. Glassman raised her two children.

Mrs. Glassman was a longtime volunteer with Associated Jewish Charities and, during the 1960s, taught adult literacy classes in city public schools.

After her divorce, Mrs. Glassman, at 50 years old, returned to college in 1972.

"She completed her bachelor's degree in art history at the University of Maryland, College Park, and commuted five days a week for two years from her home," said her daughter, Janet Ruth Goldstein of Pikesville. "And she achieved a 4.0 average every semester."

In 1974, Mrs. Glassman moved to Los Gatos, Calif., to be near her sister and "find herself," her daughter said.

During her three-year stay in California, Mrs. Glassman became interested in feminism and women's issues.

"She used her newfound independence to build a dynamic and exciting life for herself for the next 33 years," her daughter said. "She inspired other women, young and old, throughout her life as a successful, independent woman who worked to find her own self-confidence and joy in life."

From the late 1970s through the early 1990s, Mrs. Glassman taught a money management class at Goucher College. She also taught private classes for individuals or groups.

"My father couldn't handle money, and that's how she learned," Mrs. Goldstein said. "She developed a home money management system, which she taught to women, for instance, whose husbands had divorced them.

"These were women who were thrown out into the world and couldn't even balance a checkbook. Plus, they were up against former husbands and predator lawyers," she said.

Mrs. Glassman put her love of art to work when she became a docent at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1988.

"Lucille was incredibly witty and an extraordinarily bright person, and she was so effusive that you could see and feel her passion for art," said Marcia Gregory, docent and tour program manager.

"She loved art and had an almost missionary zeal when it came to teaching and talking about it," Ms. Gregory said. "And believe me, she knew what was going on in the art world."

Mrs. Glassman particularly liked teaching young children and would seat them in a semicircle in front of a Mary Cassatt pastel of a mother and child, or Pablo Picasso's mother-and-child portrait, while she spoke about the artists and their work.

"Those were works of art they could relate to," her daughter said.

Mrs. Glassman became a docent emeritus in 2004, Ms. Gregory said.

Mrs. Glassman was an avid theatergoer and also liked attending the opera.

"We loved traveling together and visiting Elderhostels. She was the driver and always called me her 'navigator,'" said Marion P. "Sis" Decker, a longtime friend.

"She had a great gift for friendship and could relate to the chemistry in others," Mrs. Decker said. "I mean, she was a person who could literally talk for hours to people."

Mrs. Glassman, who had moved to Roland Park Place several years ago after living for more than two decades at Highfield House in Guilford, enjoyed playing tennis until she was 82.

She also was an accomplished bridge player.

"She was an excellent bridge player for 60 years and was noted for her panache and style in laying down a hand of cards with an elegant flick of the wrist," said her son, Stephen Alan Glassman of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Glassman was a member of Beth Am Synagogue.

Services were yesterday.

Also surviving are her sister, Helen Epstein of Laguna Hills, Calif.; and a granddaughter.

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