Deceased Information

  • DECEASED

    Gisela Spielberg

    Beulah

  • AGE

    91

  • DATE OF DEATH

    Sunday, February 04, 2018 (Before Sunset)

  • DATE OF FUNERAL

    Wednesday, February 07, 2018

  • TIME OF FUNERAL

    10:00 AM

  • PLACE OF FUNERAL

    Graveside

  • SHIVA INFORMATION

    Shiva will be held immediately following the funeral up to 2:30 pm and again beginning at 7:00 pm (7:30 minyan) on Wednesday in the Peachtree Creek Room of the Emory Conference Center.

    1615 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329

  • DONATIONS

  • OBITUARY

    Gisela Diana Meyer Spielberg (“Gia”), 91, died Sunday, February 4, 2018. Survivors include her beloved children and their spouses, David and Jacqueline Spielberg, Josh and Nita Spielberg, Anne Spielberg and Tom Armstrong, and Debbie Spielberg and Tom Block; her adored grandchildren, Lela and Adam, Benjamin and Kate, Hannah, Michael, Adela, Michelle, Dalya, and Mollie; and her sister Erica Rockstroh. Born in Berlin, Gia escaped Nazi Germany in April 1939 at age 12 with her younger sister on the Kindertransport to England. She lived there until August 1940 when she was reunited with her parents who separately escaped Germany, and her family emigrated to the United States on the last passenger ship allowed to cross the Atlantic during the war that was not sunk by the Germans. Shortly thereafter, her family settled in Atlanta, where her father started the Southern Metal Company. Gia attended Girls High School, and then became the first in her family to attend college, with two years at Agnes Scott, and then two years at the University of Iowa, where she completed her bachelor’s degree. She married Sol Spielberg on January 9, 1949, and they shared 63 years of marriage until his death in 2012. In 2014, she moved to Maryland to be closer to family. Gia became an amazing “stay at home Mom” and volunteer extraordinaire after her husband Sol established his CPA business. She lived a life full of kindness, activism, and engagement, informed by her escape from Nazism and gratitude for the new life she found in America. She was President of the Dekalb County League of Women Voters, Vice President of the National Council of Jewish Women, active in Hadassah and President of the Briarcliff High School PTA. She worked on multiple local political campaigns, served on the Dekalb County Zoning Board of Appeals for 14 years, was an active Board member of Partnership for Community Action for 13 years, and was a volunteer with the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. She spoke out for civil rights, campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, worked to advance educational reforms and economic opportunity, and fought for sensible land use for neighborhoods. A refugee herself, she was always welcoming to others, especially to those who may otherwise have been overlooked. She loved to travel and had a wealth of knowledge about world geography. She was an original environmentalist – forgoing a dryer, spearheading recycling drives, and never throwing anything away that might be repurposed or reused. She was a gracious host and fiercely loyal to family and friends. She reveled in being a grandmother: her excitement to get to New Jersey quickly to help take care of her first grandchild earned her a speeding ticket in North Carolina; but it didn’t slow her down, and her enthusiasm for the next seven grandchildren never waned. She valued hard work and had a big heart, and she lived her long life with appreciation, resiliency and quiet strength. Funeral services will be held 10:00 AM, Wednesday, February 7 at Crest Lawn Memorial Park. Donations in her memory may be made to the Breman Museum and the League of Women Voters of Georgia Education Fund. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta 770-451-4999.

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Gisela Spielberg

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  • The Dressler Family

    May the memories of our loved ones remain for a blessing.

  • Marilyn and John Hailperin

    What a remarkable life. What a remarkable woman. Knowing you, Josh, and your children, I can see that you and Nita honored her by living a life of passion, love and commitment to your family and our community. You have our condolences for your loss and our appreciation for sharing this beautiful memorial essay about Gia.

    February 12, 2018 , 10:01 PM


  • Erin Duncan-O\'Neill

    I am so sorry for your loss, Spielberg family. I send my sympathy and deep admiration for your amazing mother and grandmother. What an incredible and brave life she led, fostering a family of incredible social justice advocates. Lots of love to you all.

    February 08, 2018 , 04:27 PM


  • Harvey Fisher

    Josh and all: Wow, if any of us could accomplish (and stand for) in our lifetimes what she did, the world would be so much better. Did not know her personally but her story is truly inspirational. What a shame so many of us don't hear about this precious existence until it comes to an end!

    February 08, 2018 , 04:04 PM


  • Bob Wenger

    Francesca always considered all of you as family and I felt honored to have Gia as witness on our wedding katubah. Whenever we enjoyed the many family events together I was overwhelmed by the love generated and I could tell that the origin of those feelings came from Gia. She was so wise and strong but modest. May her memory be a blessing for you all now in your time of sorrow and always. Bob Wenger

    February 05, 2018 , 02:47 PM


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