In Memory of




Obituary for Miriam Raiken-Kolb (Raiken)

Miriam Raiken-Kolb, 69, of Somerville, passed away on December 18, 2018. Miriam was the
beloved wife of Roger Kolb, mother of Gwen Kolb of Jamaica Plain, and the oldest child of Jerry and
Gilda Raiken of Buffalo. A native of that city, Miriam earned a Bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College,
where she studied music and acting. A gifted pianist, she settled in New York City where she discovered
she had a talent for writing show music. That led to the creation of five charming musicals, all of which
have been performed to acclaim in the greater Boston area: “Sara Crewe,” “The Secret Garden,” “Alice
in Wonderland,” “Precious Bane,” and “I Dwell in Possibility.” The last originated as a remarkable song
cycle that consisted of settings of poems by Emily Dickinson. With dialogue added, “I Dwell in
Possibility” became a one-act musical play that dealt with the discovery of Emily Dickinson by Mabel
Loomis Todd, who introduced Dickinson’s poetry to the wider world. Dickinson influenced Miriam
as an actress, too. In 1992, she presented a series of performances as Dickinson at the Vokes
Theatre in Wayland, and at the Boston Baked Theatre in Somerville, in William Luce’s one-character
nonmusical play “The Belle of Amherst.” Miriam was a teacher as well. For more than 25 years she
taught piano at her home and at St. Paul’s Choir School near Harvard Square. Her music brought joy to
everyone who heard it. She will always be in our hearts. Additional survivors are her mother and sisters
Deborah Raiken and Hannah Raiken-Schulman, all of Buffalo. There will be a graveside Service on Sunday, December 23, 2018 at 12:00Noon. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.