Lila Margulies “juiced every kernel out of life until the very end,” her family wrote. “She received immeasurable joy from her family and circle of friends, found humor in even the mundane parts of life, and was a profoundly intuitive person who had an uncanny ability to speak the unspeakable even as a young child, constantly verbalizing the things most of us either could not find words to express or did not have the courage to say.”
Ms. Margulies, of Brooklyn and Town Lane in Amagansett, died on July 12 at the Kanas Center for Hospice Care in Quiogue. She was 49 and had been ill with lung cancer for seven years.
For 14 years she was a guidance counselor and teacher at Friends Seminary in Manhattan. During that time, she also had a private psychotherapy practice.
She valued building relationships, travel, food, art, caring for her children, and time with family and friends. She was known to put together fun parties in Brooklyn and at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett.
Ms. Margulies had a disarming sense of humor, her family wrote, and a stunning voice. She had recently joined the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of women and nonbinary singers.
She was a self-taught herbalist and naturalist who became knowledgeable about alternative treatments. She enjoyed sunsets on the beach in Amagansett and in the hilly countryside of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, and took pleasure in joining others for plunges into lakes and oceans everywhere.
Lila Sher Margulies was born on Feb. 24, 1974, in New York City to Fred Margulies and the former Jane Umanoff, who survive. She grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and attended Friends High School there before earning a bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and a master’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.
She and Brian Malamet, her partner of 20 years, were married on Sept. 9, 2006. Mr. Malamet survives.
Ms. Margulies was a fierce advocate for those she loved, her family said, including the students and families she worked with at Friends Seminary, and ultimately for herself as she fought to survive and extend her life. She did not want to let go and never gave up, they wrote, seeking to teach her children about persistence, self-care, and how to hold on to hope.
In addition to her mother, who lives in Amagansett, her father, of Margaretville, N.Y., and her husband, she is survived by two children, Maggie Margulies, 15, and Sylvie Malamet, 11. A sister, Becky Margulies of Berkeley, Calif., also survives, as do her stepparents, Bo Parsons of Amagansett and Teddy Slater of Margaretville.
Ms. Margulies was cremated. Her family has suggested memorial contributions to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation at lungcancerresearchfoundation.org.