Amy Zeldes

  • "Famous Amos I miss you every single day. Reading these..."
    - Molly Andrews
  • "Amy dearest, You live in our hearts forever. Such a kind..."
    - wanda soler
  • "My sincere condolences to Amy's family and friends. I'm so..."
    - Shona Gibson
  • "My heart goes out to the Zeldes family. I graduated high..."
    - Peter Tortora
  • "I worked with Amy for about 10 years doing outreach to..."
    - Maria Cuerda

NORTHAMPTON – Amy Koren Zeldes, 59, partner, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend extraordinaire, died suddenly on August 8 after suffering a massive brain bleed while on vacation in Wisconsin with her partner, Michael Kesten.

Amy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on January 15, 1959, the second child of Nancy and Jack Zeldes, and grew up in Fairfield CT.  She received her BA from Marlboro College in Vermont and then graduated from the physician assistant program at the Yale School of Medicine. She was a practicing physician assistant for nearly thirty years.

She was passionate about her family, her friends, and especially her relationship with Michael, the love of her life. She had a huge heart, an amazing ability both to talk and to listen, and an endless stream of compassion.  She stayed connected to so many people and made each of them feel special and important. She was the world's best aunt to Miko, Jasmine, Jesse, and Tema. She asked probing questions and always wanted to know how everyone felt. She was prolific in her loves: for all kinds of exercise (especially swimming), making music, drawing, going to yard sales, shopping for bargains, talking on the phone, and eating chocolate and ice cream and peanut butter and bagels.

Amy brought all her compassion, skills, and smarts to all those around her, including her patients and work colleagues. She worked for many years at Brightwood Health Center in Springfield and for the past nine years as a PA at the Commonwealth Care Alliance, a nonprofit committed to providing high quality care to low income seniors. She loved her work and went beyond what was expected, attending to her patients' medical and emotional needs, many times in their homes. She ended every visit by asking her patient, "Is there anything else I can do for you?

She is survived by her partner Michael, her mother Nancy Zeldes, her brother Stephen Zeldes and his family Judy Roth, Miko Zeldes-Roth, and Tema Zeldes-Roth, her sister Kiki Zeldes and her family Susan Galereave, Jesse Zeldes and Jasmine Galereave, and an incredibly wide and deep circle of family and friends, including her aunts and uncles Jodie Bernstein, Lionel Bernstein, Michael Stein, and Naomi Stein, and her cousins Mitch, Jimmy, and Peter Stein and Alec, Susy, and Molly Bernstein. She was predeceased by her father, Jacob Zeldes.

The funeral will take place Sunday, August 12, from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community of Amherst (JCA), 742 Main Street in Amherst, MA. We invite everyone to also join us in sitting shiva on Sunday evening immediately following the service and on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6 - 9 p.m. in the common house at Rocky Hill Cohousing, 100 Black Birch Trail in Florence MA.

Donations in her honor can be made to The Cliniquita Fund, a nonprofit supporting the healthcare needs of immigrants and farmworkers served by Springfield's Baystate Brightwood Health Center. You can send a tax-deductible check to the "Pioneer Valley Project" at The Cliniquita Fund of Pioneer Valley Project, 39 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA 01108 or donate online at, or make a donation to a .

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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Aug. 11, 2018