Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff,
You know the scenario – while turning on the shower, a moth flutters up. It’s one of those beautiful white ones with wings carefully outlined in black and small yellow spots on either side. But moths are not built for water, and a drop or two sadly sends the little animal down the drain. Every life is important, and this week brings ongoing news of many lives in danger. In the fires of the western US, earthquakes in Haiti, the turmoil in Afghanistan, tropical storms in our country and abroad, in the rising number of COVID cases. We send warm wishes for the safety of your family and friends in these regions or affected by the virus.
My mom passed away on July 31, in South Africa, after a short illness that was not COVID. Her life was important to me and our family. She was ninety-nine, with a sharp mind, perhaps because she was never without a book. When I moved to Northeastern, my mom told me how on visits to the MFA, she had seen Northeastern across the road, and was so proud that I was Dean at this fine university!
Penelope Florence Schwartz was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 15, 1922 to Constance Ida and Albert. It was not a lavish upbringing, and she left school without graduating to pitch in. When WWII came, Mom joined the Women’s Auxillary Air Force, and ironically, that time was a highlight of her life. Afterwards, she was introduced to my dad Frederick Sive, and they married in 1950. Dad was smart and kind, but he had severe epilepsy and it was tough for Mom to cope. She did her best and was a loving mom, building for us a comfortable home with an emphasis on the importance of education, for which she did not get the opportunity.