Aileen S. Kraditor of Westborough died on March 8, 2020 at UMass University Hospital, Worcester, after a courageous, five year battle with melanoma. She was 91. Aileen was born in Brooklyn on April 12, 1928. She was the daughter of Abraham and Henrietta Kraditor. Her sister, Bernice Kraditor Haber, also predeceased her.
Aileen is survived by two nieces and a nephew: Judith Deborah Haber of Brookline, MA, Carole Robin Haber of Charlotte, NC, and Roger Haber of Studio City, California.
Aileen earned a B.A. at Brooklyn College in 1950, an M.A. at Columbia University in 1951, and a Ph.D in philosophy at Columbia in 1962. Her teaching career spanned three decades and included Rhode Island College, Sir George Williams University of Montreal, Canada, and Boston University. During her career she received many awards, including fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As of 2014 she was Professor Emerita of History at Boston University.
Aileen authored five books, wrote introductions to several academic works, and wrote numerous magazine articles. It is debatable as to which of her books was the most influential, but many believe THE IDEAS OF THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT (1965) to be a pioneering work of great value to future historians and helped pave the way for women’s history as an academic specialty.
Aileen was proud of her Jewish heritage and the achievements of her parents, who came from Eastern Europe in their childhood and eventually met in the United States. Both became lawyers. Aileen fondly remembered how uncompromising her mother was when confronted with an injustice, no matter how small. She once spent time and finances to fight a two dollar parking fine. Eventually the family chant became, “Pay the two dollars!” whenever Aileen’s mother raised her concerns against a small injustice. Aileen was especially inspired by her father who came to the United States when he was eight years old, not knowing a word of English. Within a year he spoke English fluently.
A special thank you is extended to Josephine, who was her home aide, and cared for Aileen over four years as if she and Aileen were family. Aileen was never one to pay an undeserved compliment. But when she said, “I don’t know what I’d do without Josephine,” it was enough.
Calling hours will take place on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 from 4 to 6 PM at the Pickering and Son Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main Street, Westborough, MA. With a funeral service conducted by Rabbi David Kudan at 5:00 P.M.
A private burial will take place in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY.
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