Barbara Louise Fram Piller, 85, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, writer and teacher, died October 27, 2015 in her home after a long illness.
Barbara was born February 9, 1930, in Breckenridge, Texas. While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Barbara went on a blind date with an accountant from Houston who knew by the end of that night that he wanted to marry her. That man, Willard Piller, waited until the third date to propose, but she made him wait more than a year before she agreed to marry him. They were married by Rabbi Isadore Garsek in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 3, 1950.
The couple settled in Houston, where she finished college, graduating from the University of Houston in 1951. They raised four children during their happy 43-year marriage. In the years before his death, Barbara and Willard took daily walks through the neighborhood hand-in-hand. Grandchildren Rebecca, and Will and Katie following Willard’s death, brought daily joy to their lives.
Barbara and Willard were active members of Congregation Beth Yeshurun, where she was the first woman to have an aliyah. Barbara was a regular member of the Greenfield Chapel minyan beginning in the 1980s. In the early 1970s, she worked for the Bureau of Jewish Education.
From 1970 through 1995, Barbara taught at Beth Yeshurun Day School. During those years, she wrote songs, plays, and musicals for her students to perform and one that congregants performed. It was not unusual for her former students, now parents themselves, to break into “Mr. Lincoln, I’ve Been Thinking,” “School is Out,” or one of her other songs upon running into her in later years.
The prolific poems Barbara wrote for special occasions involving family and friends were integral parts of many celebrations over the years. Years ago she wrote an article for the Hadassah newsletter that told the true story of a Seder in her grandparents’ small Breckenridge home; the house only had three walls and was open on the fourth side during the Seder because the neighbors who shared the fourth wall had moved, taking the wall with them. She later rewrote it as a children’s story, “The One-of-a-Kind Passover House.”
She was predeceased by her husband, Willard Piller; son Donald Piller; parents, Dora and Simon Fram; twin brother David Fram; mother- and father-in-law Becky and Rubin Piller; brother-in-law Lester Rosen; sister- and brother-in-law Dorothy and Sam Janger; and dear friend Dave Kaminsky.
She is survived by daughters Susan Piller, Linda Piller, and Ruthie Piller; grandchildren Rebecca Piller, Will Faour, and Katie Faour; sister Toby Rosen; nieces and nephews Rabbi David and Marcie Rosen and family; Cindy Fratina and family; Rick Rosen; Barbara Janger; and Bruce Janger. The family thanks long-time physician Dr. Stuart Solomon for his loving care and attention over the years. In addition, the family is grateful to Annie Alexander, Alicia Brown, Linda Gail Richard, Jeanette Stirgus, and Beverly Stirgus for the love and care given to Barbara in her last years. Special thanks also to Compassus Hospice Home Care.
In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made to Hadassah or to the Congregation Beth Yeshurun-Greenfield Chapel Fund.