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Epstein Family Papers

Identifier: MS 0865
Finding aid note: Forms part of the Houston Jewish History Archive. Stored on-site at the Woodson Research Center.

Scope and Contents

Certificates, correspondence, event materials, photographs, and scrapbooks document the lives of members of the Epstein family and their involvement in the Houston Jewish Community from 1939-1999.


  • Creation: 1891 - 2016

Conditions Governing Access

The material is open for research. Stored on-site at the Woodson Research Center.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Epstein Family Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy,  literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Allen Epstein was born 1923, in Illinois to Percy and Fay G. Epstein. He attended Lamar High School and was part of the school's first graduating class. From 1942 to approximately 1947, Epstein served as a captain in the U.S. Army's Corps of Engineers, primarily in the Pacific theater, during World War II. He was recalled to active duty from 1950 to 1952 for service during the Korean War. Robert earned six Battle Stars and the Bronze Star during his military service.

Carolyn Fox Liedeker was born in Houston, Texas on July 11, 1928 to Louis Lawrence Liedeker and Leona Westheimer Liedeker. She attended San Jacinto High School, graduated in June 1944, and later attended the University of Texas where she majored in Art Appreciation.

Robert Epstein and Carolyn Liedeker met in 1943 and married on May 31, 1947 in Houston, Texas. The couple had three children: Ross Allen, Lauren Lou, and Neal Evans

Robert Epstein received a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M in 1948, and received the university's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013. He began work with the Joseph S. Smith Agency of the Aetna Life Insurance Company. He later formed the Gerry, Hunter, and Epstein Agency, which eventually merged with the Harry A. Kiney agency to form the GEM Agencies.

In the course of his life, Robert Epstein served on the board of the Men's Club at Congregation Beth Israel and as President, as well as President of the Westwood Country Club. In 1960 he co-chaired the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods convention.

Carolyn Liedeker Epstein served as President of the Avodah Chapter of the B'nai B'rith Women. She won an outstanding service award from the B'nai B'rith Women in 1961. She also served as President of The Knit Shop, the Epstein family art needlework store.

Carolyn Fox Liedeker Epstein died on September 8, 2011.


4 Linear Feet (8 Boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is made up of one box containing bulletins, certificates, correspondence, event materials, photographs, programs, and scrapbooks from the Epstein Family, spanning from 1939-1999.


The materials in this collection have been arranged in seven series as follows: Series I: Certificates; Series II: Correspondence; Series III: Ephemera; Series IV: Event Materials; Series V: Photographs Series VI: Publications; Series VII: Scrapbooks

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Lauren Scharf donated the Epstein Family papers in May of 2019.

Related Materials

MS 876, Westheimer/Simom Family Papers

Separated Materials

1944 El Oroso was removed from the collection and cataloged: LD7501 .S26 O76

Guide to the Epstein Family Papers, 1939-1999
Unprocessed Addenda
Rebecca Topper, Alicia Godsil
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA