Esther Bryan Lyss-Greenstein passed away peacefully Aug. 2, 2020, in St. Louis, Mo. Though slowed by Alzheimer’s in recent years, Esther is known for a lifetime of boundless energy: connecting with her daughters, exercising with friends, baking with her grandkids, serving many communities, or enjoying time with her husband.
Esther Sharon Bryan was born May 23, 1938, to one of only a few Jewish families in Marietta, Ga. In grade school, the family moved to Atlanta so Esther could be raised within a vibrant Jewish community. She was president of her chapter of B’nai B’rith Girls, which launched her dedication to cultivating a rich Jewish life and solidified her passion for helping others.
In 1956, she graduated from Grady High School. She attended Emory University and Ohio State University before transferring to the Central Institute for the Deaf of Washington University, St. Louis, earning a Bachelor of Science in audiology and communication in 1960.
Esther was a lifelong educator, formally starting her career at CID. Years later, she created a program at Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis for Jewish deaf boarding students to participate in religious school. She invented and produced a pill dispenser to help families with medication compliance. She authored and co-authored three interactive books for families. Esther rounded out her career as an art broker for Lysographics Fine Art.
Regardless of where she lived or what kept her busy, Esther was a consummate friend. She had a gift for building unique and lasting relationships. Her charming personality and Southern lilt drew people to her, and her compassion, creative thinking and willingness to give and receive love endeared her to so many. She sought intimate connection with others, and her kind-hearted personality and spunky taste in art, clothing and toenail polish brought energy, spirit and humor to any room she entered. Esther created a home where people were coming in the front and out the back door at all times of day or night.
Esther’s greatest devotion was to her family. She was an exemplary mom, prioritizing time with immediate and extended family and teaching her children to look to each other as both siblings and the closest of friends.
Esther was predeceased by her first husband Stanley Lyss; brother Bernard Bryan; and parents Ida and Irving Bryan of Atlanta.
She is survived by her husband Harvey Greenstein; children Sheryl Lyss (Paul Lewis) of Atlanta, Julie Lyss, and Pamela Lyss-Lerman (Jason Lerman); her children by marriage are Janet (Barry) Lutz, Mike (Lisa) Greenstein, and Jim Greenstein (Lori Linder); grandchildren Caleb and Brianna Lyss-Lewis of Atlanta and 19 other grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Linda, Jeffrey (Robin), and Stephanie Bryan of Atlanta.
In honor of Esther’s life, please practice random acts of kindness. Contributions may be made to the Stanley Lyss and Esther Lyss-Greenstein Life-Long Learning Fund at Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis (www.sestl.org/give/endowments-and-funds/), the Central Institute for the Deaf (www.cid.edu/support-cid/), Memory Care Home Solutions (www.memorycarehs.org/donate/), or the charity of your choice.
- Esther Bryan Lyss-Greenstein
- B’nai B’rith Girls
- Grady High School
- Emory University
- Ohio State University
- Central Institute for the Deaf of Washington University
- Congregation Shaare Emeth
- Lysographics Fine Art
- Memory Care Home Solutions
- Stanley Lyss and Esther Lyss-Greenstein Life-Long Learning Fund