SIDNEY GELBER

Obituary
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GELBER--Sidney, 89, died in his sleep on the morning of November 13. Devoted father of Alexis, Stephen, and Valerie Gelber, father-in-law of Mark Whitaker, Susan Luciano, and Abraham Yacob, and adoring grandfather of Nadine and Regina Sobel, Rachel and Matthew Whitaker, and Rose Luciano, Sidney was predeceased in 2012 by his beloved wife of 64 years, Anita Gelber. Sidney was a brilliant and compassionate thinker, professor, and university administrator who dedicated his life to higher education. Born in New York, he attended DeWitt Clinton High School and Columbia College, and served in U.S Army counterintelligence during World War II. He received his B.A and Ph.D from Columbia University and joined the Philosophy Department faculty. Sidney was on the editorial committee that rewrote the source book for Columbia's famous Contemporary Civilization course, and he taught classes with Lionel Trilling and Fred Dupee. Sidney went on to help create and build the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and rose to become Academic Vice-President and Provost. In 2001 he published a book, "Politics and Public Higher Education in New York State: Stony Brook--A Case History," a definitive history of the university. He also shared his expertise with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, where he was on the Board of Governors and received an Honorary Doctorate and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Sidney possessed a rare combination of wisdom, humor, political insight, and managerial savvy. He was an accomplished pianist who performed in Carnegie Recital Hall with Anita and valued the two years that he was President of the Mannes College of Music while such great musicians as Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, and Frederica von Stade were students. His mind was sharp and his sense of humor intact until the end, and he was beloved by his children, grandchildren, former students, and colleagues. He is an irreplaceable force in his family's life. Funeral service will be held on Sunday, November 16 at 10am at Gutterman's Funeral Home, 8000 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY.



Funeral Home
Gutterman's Funeral Home
8000 Jericho Tpke
Woodbury, NY 11797
(516) 921-5757
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Published in The New York Times from Nov. 15 to Nov. 16, 2014
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