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Emily (Isberg) Reardon
April 5, 1951 ~ October 19, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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Emily Isberg Reardon passed away peacefully on October 19, 2023. A celebration in honor of
Emily’s life will be held at 1 pm on December 3, 2023 at the Nature Center & Gallery at the
Mass Audubon Habitat Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont, Massachusetts.
Emily grew up in Miami Beach, Florida, and loved books and music from a young age. Emily
graduated from Everglades School in 1969 and Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1973. The
transition from bright Miami to Massachusetts was jarring at first, but Emily quickly grew to
love the culture of learning she found at Radcliffe and adopted the area as her home. While at
Radcliffe, Emily made lifelong friends and met Marc Reardon, the enduring love of her life.
After graduating from Radcliffe, Emily earned a degree in journalism from the Columbia
Journalism School. She went on to write for the Washington Post, edit several books and
newspapers, and publish a book on sports medicine for the Novabooks series. Emily’s passion
for writing shone; she wrote beautifully throughout her life.
Emily married Marc in 1981 and celebrated their forty second wedding anniversary this year.
They were lifelong partners, together in adventures of worldwide travel, careers, and raising their
children. Emily was a devoted mother to Matthew, Elizabeth, and Rachel. She was a source of
steady, consistent support and unconditional love throughout their lives. Emily’s example lives
on in her children and grandchildren.
Emily began a second career as a librarian at the Belmont Public Library, starting part time in the
young adult section and continually expanding her role to become the acting director of the
library and head of the reference department. For over 20 years, Emily welcomed patrons of all
kinds into the library -- children on their first visit to the library, adults using the library’s
resources for everyday necessities, lifelong learners on their continuing journeys, and everybody
in between. She met generations of the area’s residents and was well known throughout Belmont
and the surrounding towns. Emily led a popular summer reading program and founded the
successful “One Book One Belmont” program for the Belmont community.
Emily’s natural sense of humor came in handy living with Marc, Matt, Lizzie, and Rachel. She
possessed a quiet strength and toughness that was necessary for her family to survive extreme
backcountry expeditions on horseback in Montana, hiking and fishing in Denali National Park
and Kenai Fjords in Alaska, and canoeing the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories of
Canada (a three-week trip that included grueling portages, intense rapids in glacial waters, and
After she retired from backcountry expeditions, Emily enjoyed more peaceful outdoor
adventures, particularly long walks in the Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary and the Middlesex Fells
with Marc and their dogs, and long kayak paddles with Marc on Long Lake in Bridgton, Maine.
Emily enjoyed gardening, and cuttings from her beautiful hydrangea trees hung in the homes of
friends and neighbors. She enjoyed listening to music, including the standards that her mother,
Sylvia Waldman Isberg, had performed as a member of the Bailey Sisters and with a number of
big bands. Emily hosted holiday dinners for extended family and friends every year. Her
grandchildren called her “Nana” and loved curling up with Nana for storybook reading sessions.
She continued to provide public service after retirement by training her black labrador Elvis to be
a therapy dog for children and hospital patients.
Emily fought an aggressive cancer for four years with endurance and grace. She retained the
quiet strength and determination that her family had seen on backcountry expeditions, and the
sense of humor that had filled their home with laughter, throughout. This September, she
convened Marc, her children, their spouses, and their children at the Beaver Brook playground in
Belmont and watched her grandchildren Teddy, Luke, Hannah, and Oscar play together.
Storytime with Nana continued.
Emily is survived by her husband, Marc Reardon, her sister Roberta Isberg and her husband Seth
Alper, her cousin Ralph Isberg and his wife Carol Kumamoto, her son Matthew Reardon and his
wife Genevieve Aguilar and their children Theodore and Luke, her daughter Elizabeth Reardon
and her husband Benjamin Starobin and their daughter Hannah, her daughter Rachel Reardon
and her husband Zaks Lubin and their son Oscar, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Belmont Public Library in Emily’s name.