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Dr. Muriel “Monchy” (Apfelberg) Brownstein, 85, of Wernersville, PA passed away in the Health Center at Phoebe Berks, just after midnight on Friday, January 31, 2014. Daughter of Joseph Apfelberg and Clara (Jurgrau) Apfelberg, Muriel was born in Ellenville, NY, January 1, 1929. She grew up on a farm in the Lake Huntington, NY, area and retained a love of rural life and a green thumb throughout her life. Education for her was a lifelong pursuit. She graduated from Evander Childs High School (NYC) in 1946 at age 17, received a BA in Biology from Brooklyn College in 1949, a Master’s Degree in Education Phi Beta Kappa from University of Akron in 1975 and her Ph. D. from Temple University in Education in 1985 at age 56. She was an enthusiastic promoter of science education, performed research for her Ph. D. dissertation in Tianjin, China on multi-cultural methods for teaching science, served as chairwoman of the Science Department and a Chemistry Teacher at both Lower Moreland High School in Montgomery County, PA and Delran High School in Burlington County, NJ. In retirement, she continued to work with local, regional and international Science Fairs as well as volunteering as a docent at the New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden, NJ, as a mentor with Literacy Volunteers in South Jersey, and as a home tutor for children with AIDS and developmentally disabled adults Intellectual curiosity and zest for life were ever present. She played saxophone and recorder, wrote poetry, loved to knit sweaters, garden, can jams, jellies and dilly beans. She was a voracious reader and hardly ever sat down without a book or newspaper on her lap. She delighted in a wide range of musicians ranging from Pete Seeger to Stan Getz to Andre Sagovia. Her places of residence included New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Akron, Ohio, Glover, Vermont and Berks County, Pennsylvania. Her international travels included Israel, Ireland, England, Germany, Czech Republic and China. She was Jewish as well as a member of the Unitarian Universalist community. This blending of faith traditions was symbolized by the silver Unitarian chalice affixed to a Jewish star which she wore around her neck. Both religious heritages nourished her involvement in social causes as a passionate activist for universal justice, world peace, racial equality, woman’s rights and an advocate for the mentally ill. As a devoted wife and nurturing mother, career and community interests were constantly interwoven with family activities. She is remembered for watching TV with the family, with a text book for a course she was taking open before her and jumping up during commercials to move clothes from the washer to the drier. Muriel was deeply loved by family, colleagues and friends. Her kind smile, joie d’vivre and ever present optimism will be sorely missed. She is survived by Mel Brownstein, her husband of 58 years, children, Ted Brownstein, Carl Brownstein, Andy Brownstein and Ruth Brownstein, her sister-in-law, Elizabeth “Liz” (Singer) Apfelberg, her nephew, Michael Apfelberg, her niece, Lisa (Apfelberg) Walton , her grandchildren, Jessica Pogrund Choplin, Rachel Jepson, Gretchen Brownstein, Anna Kiliona, Sarah Brownstein and Ariel Brownstein and great-grandchildren, Isabella Jepson, Zack Pogrund Choplin, Lev Pogrund Choplin and Audrey Brownstein Carrillo . She was predeceased by her brother, Hershel Apfelberg. Donations in Muriel’s memory may be made to Children’s Defense Fund or Doctors Without Borders. Plans for her Memorial Service will be announced at a later time.

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