Clarence Steinberg

Obituary of Clarence Bernard Steinberg



Clarence Steinberg, a resident of Silver Spring for over 55 years, died at his home on March 12, 2024 at the age of 94. Born on June 3, 1929, he grew up in Ellenville, New York, where his immigrant parents, Bella and Israel (Irving) Steinberg owned a chicken farm and built and operated the Leurkenkill Heights bungalow colony that still stands today.

Clarence left the farm for Cornell University, then New York’s City College, where he obtained his bachelor's degree. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, and later a doctorate in Medieval English from the University of Pennsylvania. Along the way, he met and married Judith (Judy) Levy, to whom he was married for 32 years until her death in 1992 and with whom he had two sons.

Clarence was a man of many jobs, from waiting tables at Catskill resorts, to selling encyclopedias and insurance, to painting houses. His love was academia: an expert in Chaucer and Beowulf, in 1968, he came with his family to Maryland to join the English faculty at the University of Maryland, where he was also active in the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors. He later taught at other area institutions including Howard, George Washington, and George Mason. When academic opportunities became scarce, he joined the federal government and spent the last decade of his career drawing on his farming roots as a public affairs officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During those years he found time to co-author a book, “Jewish Farmers of the Catskills: A Century of Survival,” documenting the history of the community in which he grew up. After his retirement he returned to teaching, leading an English literature class at senior centers in Montgomery County for many years.

A child of the Depression, Clarence was a lifelong liberal. While often disappointed at the slow pace of change, he never stopped believing that social and economic justice would someday prevail - and he was happy to tell you why. He was also a firm believer in not paying for something he could do himself. Well into his old age, he could be found fixing cars, improving his garden, repairing appliances, or on a ladder with a bucket of paint.

He leaves behind many books, magazines, classical music albums, car parts, tools, and nearly-functioning appliances. More importantly, he leaves a legacy of kindness and generosity, as well as many friends; son Claude, daughter-in-law Diana Snigurowicz; son Marc, daughter-in-law Jennifer Goldberg; and two grandchildren, Julia and Michael.

A graveside funeral service will be held at Parklawn Memorial Park, 12800 Veirs Mill Rd., Rockville, MD 20853, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 1 PM. Following burial, the family will be receiving at the home of Marc Steinberg and Jennifer Goldberg for a meal of condolence and shiva until 6:30 pm, and observing shiva on Thursday from 5:30-7:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Native American Rights Fund ( or to another worthy cause.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Clarence
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Rapp Funeral and Cremation Services
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