Judith Kay Spindell


Spindell, Judith Kay, 83, of Providence, died Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at Miriam Hospital. She was the beloved wife of the late Dr. Edward Spindell, daughter of the late Louis and Molly (Plotnick) Kay, and step-daughter of the late Anne Factor Kay.

Judith was a graduate of Tufts University, receiving both a B.S. in Education and a Certificate in Teaching from the Eliot Pearson School at Tufts. In 1979 she received an FCC third class operator’s license. From 1981-83, she was a research assistant in a national drug study for SEARCH (Health Data Services). For twenty-seven years she taught at Temple Beth-El, having created a Family Life Curriculum centering on the social, cultural, and personal aspects of middle school children, especially seventh graders. In 1994 she received a Judaic Teaching Certification from the Bureau of Jewish Education, and later received a Certificate of Appreciation for her dedication to the Religious School of Temple Beth-El. In 1998 she was awarded the Millman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Judith was also a tutor at the International House of Rhode Island, a docent at RISD Museum, and a four-year volunteer at the Samaritans of R.I. Judith loved a good joke, a good book or movie, and a good friend. Prized above all was her family.

She leaves behind many devoted and caring family members including her daughters, Dr. Faith Tobias, Julie Corwin, and Pamela (Alex) Greiner, her son Chaim Cohen and his wife Michal, her step-children, Ahvi Spindell and his wife Jane Gabbert, Marcia Spindell Lentz, and Stephen Spindell. In addition, she leaves her loving grandchildren, Yonah, Shira, and Yair Cohen, and Mason and Kaden Tobias, as well as her step-grandchildren, Joshua and Aaron Lentz, Jessica Spindell, and Simon Spindell, and extended family members Jon Lentz and Blanche Spindell. She was deeply grateful for them all.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, funeral services and Shiva will be private; however, a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906 or the charity of your choice.


  1. Ahvi Spindell
    Aug 21, 2020

    With great sadness, we say goodbye to our most loved Judy. She was a North Star to everyone in our family. Her love was always generous and unselfish. Her words both written and spoken were gracious, insightful and poetic. One of her poems was carved by the love of her life, Edward Spindell, on a plaque that welcomed all who visited their Cape home. She has carved her love on our hearts and we will miss her dearly.

    • erna schwartz place
      Aug 21, 2020

      I have so many wonderful memories of your extended family! From sleepovers to Passovers together to babysitting for Judy’s girls when they were young.
      Sending love to all of you!

    • Rachel Oppenheim
      Aug 26, 2020

      Dear Ahvi and Marcia,
      my heartfelt condolences to both of you. Your short obits are so beautiful and meaningful. I spoke to Judy a few days before she was going to spend a few days with you in Cape Cod. She was very much looking forward to it. Judy will be sorely missed by many. Her legacy will be an inspiration to us all.

  2. Vivian G. Weisman
    Aug 21, 2020

    May her memory be for a blessing.

  3. Marcia Spindell lentz
    Aug 21, 2020

    I am very saddened for the loss of an extraordinary woman, stepmother and very good friend. Judy had a great heart for compassion and an extraordinary intellect. She loved writing, Reading, Art and being with people. She provided stability for me after my biological parents deaths and became an Intercal part of my Family . I will miss her terribly but she was always ready with a listening ear and love to share.

  4. Karen Shlevin Fink
    Aug 21, 2020

    My deepest condolences for your loss. May your fond memories of Judy bring you comfort during this difficult time and the days ahead.

    Karen Fink and family

  5. Sandra Glen
    Aug 22, 2020

    In loving memory of my cousin. My condolences to all of her family. The one memory I would like to share is trying to find the most insulting birthday card to send each other and then calling to see how it was received and have a good laugh!
    Rest in Peace,

  6. Lisa Koffler
    Aug 22, 2020

    Judy, you knew how to make everyone around you happy, and I’ll always be grateful for that. I loved you and I miss you.

  7. Gloria Feibish
    Aug 23, 2020

    I only knew Judy for a relatively short time, I found her to be the soul of graciousness and kindness. Her keen intellect, compassionate feelings for others, and willingness to speak out against intolerance, and her fierce protectiveness and guidance for her family, made her a role model for others. And I admired her greatly for her modesty in the face of her many accomplishments. Judy will be sorely missed by the many whose lives she touched, in such positive ways. Deepest condolences to her family, and may her memory be an eternal blessing.

  8. Myrna Aronson
    Aug 24, 2020

    We have lost a very special friend. All of our love, thoughts and prayers to her family. Myrna and Ed Aronson

  9. Shawn Marquis
    Aug 24, 2020

    I had only shared time with Judy on a small number of occasions, but I was always met with kindness and sweetness. I appreciated her elegant use of words and the worlds she created with them when expressing herself through poetry. Sending my condolences and love to her family and friends.

  10. Enid
    Aug 24, 2020

    I have lovely memories of Judy being first a baby sitter to Judy’s darling little children and then a friend to Judy through the years. We enjoyed talking by phone and visiting on my trips to Providence. I will miss our conversation, her smiles, and sense of humor. I send my deepest condolences to her lovely family and hope that her memory is their comfort and blessing.

  11. Patty Gold
    Aug 24, 2020

    Judy was a ray of sunshine & a class act. I loved her dearly. Sending love & support to her family.

  12. Diana Davidson
    Aug 24, 2020

    I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Judy’s family and friends. My mom, Adrienne Krasnoff Davidson, and Judy were friends since childhood. They remained friends until my mom’s passing in 2016. I feel certain they are back together along with Ed and my dad, and they reliving great memories and enjoying lots of good laughs. May she Rest in Peace.

  13. Patricia Roberge-McWilliams
    Aug 26, 2020

    To the family of Judith.
    Please accept my most heartfelt sympathy for your loss.
    I was shocked and saddened when I learned of Judy’s death.
    Judy and I shared 40 years of friendship. We had many wonderful times together and shared the happy times , the sad times and best of all the joyful times.
    She loved her family and especially spoke with such pride and joy about her grandchildren.
    We recently spoke about missing our usual “tea” get together!
    Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Judy was my friend ••• life has changed!

  14. Ann Lipsitt
    Aug 29, 2020

    My heartfelt condolences to Judy’s family and friends. This is such sad news and I will miss Judy on my visits to Laurelmead, where I met her. I always enjoyed seeing her, visiting with her, having meals together with a group or on our own. We talked about books, teaching, life at Laurelmead and of course, her dear husband and family. We spoke just a couple of days before her passing. I had written her and a number of other residents, notes during this time when I could not come there and be with my parents who also live at Laurelmead. She always insisted on a phone conversation after I wrote, so there could be more back and forth between us and we could travel in our topics of conversation. I will miss this and I will miss her. I feel lucky to have known Judy.

  15. Jolie Shushansky
    Sep 7, 2020

    I don’t remember exactly how we met and connected, probably through my Troob family and Temple Beth El although I am glad we did. When our children were little, Judy babysat for them a few times and was the most understanding and playful companion they could have had. Judy had a deep smile for me each time we met and throughout the 30 some odd years that I played flute for the Beth El Yom Kippor Meditation service Judy and Ed, then Judy alone was always in the congregation, dressed elegantly and lost in the workings of her mind and soul. She made memories of the best kind. Remembering her with love.

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