Deborah Baltzly Aliber

Hanover, N.H. — Deborah Baltzly Aliber died suddenly at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Debbie was born in New York City in 1930, the only child of Alexander and Josephine (Tucker) Baltzly. She lived at the MacDougall Sullivan Gardens in Greenwich Village until leaving for college; her father was a Professor of History at New York University. She attended the Little Red Schoolhouse and graduated from Friends Seminary in 1948, and from Smith College in 1952.

Debbie and Robert Z. Aliber were married in Charleston, S.C., on Sept. 9, 1955. They moved to New Haven, Conn., and then to New York City and Washington, D.C., and then in 1965 to the Hyde Park Neighborhood in Chicago.

One of her greatest pleasures was her continuing education and involvement at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago both as a docent and as the librarian for the Docent Society. Her enthusiasm for the history and cultures of the Ancient Middle East led to numerous study trips to Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and India and around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. She was a member of the Visiting Committee to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago for many years.

In 1982, Debbie and Bob began to spend their summers on a serene Vermont hillside in the Upper Valley. They moved to School Street in Hanover in 2003. Debbie soon became involved with the Women’s Network, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley, the Smith Club of New Hampshire, and the Five College Book Sale. She was a passionate student of the history and the film courses of ILEAD, the adult education program at Dartmouth.

Debbie had a warm smile and infectious laughter. She was intellectually engaged in a wide variety of issues, the Protestant Reformation, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the tensions between the whites and the blacks in South Africa. She loved Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Mozart, Brahms, the Clancy Brothers, and Opera North. She relished annual summer visits to the Clark Art Institute and the Summer Theater Festival in Williamstown, to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner in Boston, and to August trips to Montreal to view the Rogers Cup and have dinner at La Loux. She was enthusiastic about the extended family stays in London and the opportunity to visit the National Portrait Gallery. In the mid-1980s Debbie and Bob began to visit Berlin on a regular basis; she was fascinated by the the Pergamon, the Bode, and both Staatsopera and the Komische and more recently by the Jewish Museun. She was a gracious host to visiting faculty and hundreds of foreign and American students; many became life-long friends.

Debbie is survived by her husband of 57 years; three children, Jennifer Aliber, (Christoper Hess) of Lexington, Mass., Rachel Aliber Duffy (John) of Morrisville, Vt., and Michael Alexander Aliber (Hiltrud Elke) of Johannesburg, South Africa. There are six loving granddaughters, Megan Elizabeth Duffy, Caitlin Rose Duffy, Sophia Quinn Hess, Schuyler Marie Hess, Talia Zara Aliber, and Khanyi Claire Aliber.

A memorial service will be planned for the Spring.