Gail Roth Meister, a native of Rockville Center, died peacefully Feb. 3 of ovarian cancer at Penn Hospice in Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. She was 75 years old.
Meister was born January 24, 1947, in Rockville Center, to Dr. Lee and Lenora (Fleischer) Roth, and became a longtime resident of Merchantville, NJ
Meister is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, and earned a master’s degree from Yale University, as well as a doctorate from Stanford University. Education was central to his life, and after briefly teaching adult middle and high school students, Meister has spent more than 30 years helping educators and schools improve their practice through research, policy development and programs, writing and editing. She has worked for area consulting firms, including Foundations Inc., in Moorestown, NJ, and the Institute for Research and Reform in Education and Research for Better Schools, in Philadelphia, and as an independent consultant.
Meister was deeply committed to her Jewish faith and was active in her synagogue, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, in Philadelphia. She served as an administrator and recently helped design and run a semester-based adult education program. Meister has participated in Jewish text study, both in his local congregation and elsewhere, via Zoom during the pandemic
She lived a focused life, determined never to put off until tomorrow what could be lived today. She and her husband, Reverend JW. Gregg and his daughter, Miriam, traveled whenever they could, and she loved planning their trips. Destinations included the Amazon, Southern Africa, Israel, and many locations across Europe and the United States
Additionally, Meister loved literature, theater, museums, historical sites, and looked forward to the weekend’s Inquirer to-do list so she could plan for the week ahead. She regularly attended the Philadelphia Orchestra, even if she no longer played the violin which had made her accepted as a child at the Julliard School (which she refused to attend), and looked forward each year to welcoming family, friends and anyone with no place to go. for Thanksgiving dinner.
Meister has volunteered in Merchantville, most recently as editor of the local newspaper Merchantville Observer. She loved long bike rides with her husband, especially along the Delaware and Raritan Canal through Lambertville. Following a bad fall from biking last year, she started walking three to four miles every day, starting at dawn.
In addition to her husband and daughter, who has a doctorate in Seattle, Meister is survived by her brother, Merrill (Ellen) Roth of Athens, NY; his sister, Susan Nurin, of New York; nieces and nephews, Tamara and Justin (Melissa) Nurin, Stephen and Nina Roth; and numerous cousins and relatives by marriage.
Memorial services for Meister were held February 6 at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ Internment was held at Beth Moses Cemetery in West Babylon. Contributions in memory of Meister may be made to the Jewish organization or cause of your choice, and/or to Mount Holyoke College.