Myra Zeff Smulyan, 81, passed away peacefully at home with her loving husband, Stanley Smulyan, by her side Friday, March 28, 2014, in Kingston.
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She was born Aug. 2, 1932, in New York City, N.Y., to Isadore Kornzweig and Sadie Coplan (Kornzweig).
Myra grew up in the Bronx until age 14, when her family moved to Wilkes-Barre. She graduated from Wyoming Seminary Day School in Kingston in 1949. After high school she attended Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, where she received a bachelor's degree. It was on the Wilkes campus that she was spotted by her soon-to-be husband Stanley, who claimed it was love at first sight. They were married July 26, 1953.
Myra started teaching in the local schools as a substitute teacher when her children were still young. Then in the mid-to-late 1970s she became one of the first professionals to be hired by the federal Title I program to assist low-income students achieve early educational support and academic success, a job she loved but which ended under federal budget cuts in the early 1990s.
She then went on to teach in the Wilkes-Barre city schools, Wyoming Valley West High School and the Temple Israel Nursery School. Myra also had a "second career" as director of the Jewish Community Center "Meals on Wheels" program for several years until she and her husband decided to retire and spend their winters in Florida.
Myra was in excellent health and as beautiful as the day they married when she and Stanley, still acting like newlyweds, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary July 26, 2013.
Myra was a member of Temple Israel in Wilkes-Barre, the Jewish Community Center, a lifetime member of Hadassah, and the Fox Hill Ladies Gold Association.
She enjoyed theater, literature, the arts, her many dear and longtime friends, and most of all, time spent with her two children and her cherished grandchildren.
Myra was preceded in death by her loving parents, Isadore and Sadie Kornzweig of Hazleton, and Santa Barbara, Calif.
Myra is survived by her adoring and devoted spouse, Stanley Smulyan, Kingston; her children, Deborah Smulyan, Carrboro, N.C.; her son, David Smulyan, Milwaukee, Wis. (wife, Betty Smulyan); her brother, Dr. Neil Kornzweig, Fresno, Calif. (wife, Sheila Kornzweig); beloved grandchildren, Stephanie, Xochi and Sam Smulyan; niece, Jolie Bennett; and nephew, Jordan Kornzweig.
Friends, family, neighbors and the community at large will remember Myra as a kind, generous, caring and intelligent individual with a big heart and a quiet but keen insight into people and the world at large.
A funeral service will be held at Rosenberg Funeral Chapel Inc., 348 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre, at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Interment will follow in Temple Israel Cemetery, Swoyersville.
Shiva will be observed at 94 Lathrop St., Kingston, from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday.
Our special thanks to Dr. David Greenwald and his staff, to Commonwealth Hospice and their devoted nurses and aides, to Dr. Richard Blum, and to Ms. Mary Adu, Myra's devoted caregiver at home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to The Gift of Adoption. You may make your donation by phone, 877-905-2367, or by mailing a check or money order payable to Gift of Adoption Fund, P.O. Box 567, Techny, IL 60082, or https://www.giftofadoption.org/donate/donateNow.html. Please note donations in memory of Myra Smulyan.
Rosenberg Funeral Chapel - Wilkes Barre
348 S. River St
Wilkes Barre, PA 18702
Published in Citizens' Voice on Mar. 29, 2014