Edith Udell Fierst


On Feb. 10, Edith Udell Fierst, of Bethesda, peacefully passed away at Maplewood Park Place, weeks before her 98th birthday. Beloved wife of the late Herb Fierst. Devoted mother of Fred Udell Fierst (Eva), David Udell Fierst (Anna) and Peggy Fierst Sax (Shel). Cherished grandmother of Benjamin and Daniel Fierst (Naomi), Sonya Rumpf (Jhanny), Sophie Eleanor and Simon Fierst, Peter Davis Sax (Molly) and Jordan Michael Sax (Dana). Dear great-grandmother of Tatum and Clay Fierst, Isa and Luna Rumpf and Nathan, Clara, Aaron and Dylan Sax. Beloved sister of Helen Lowenstein.

Edith met her husband, Herb Fierst, while she was one of only six women in her class at Yale Law School. After marrying in 1947, they moved to Washington D.C., where she finished her law degree at George Washington University. She worked part-time at the Labor Department while raising young children, and became an advocate for women being able to have both a family and career. She worked in the Office of Economic Opportunity during the Carter administration and served on the Social Security Advisory Council from 1994 to 1997, recommending against privatization of Social Security. In 1996, the American Association of Foreign Service Women gave her an award for her work. Even during her retirement, she devoted herself passionately to public service and Jewish causes, taking on cases for women unfairly denied pensions and producing recorded testimony of Holocaust survivors.

Edith’s family is profoundly grateful to Nita Pasag, Frez Woldemariam, Morine Washington and the Maplewood Park Place community for their loving and skillful care. Contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood or to the Hebrew Free Loan Association. Arrangements entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home.

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