Jeffrey H. Kaimowitz
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Jeffrey Hugh Kaimowitz, 78, of West Hartford, CT, passed away on November 9, 2020 at home with his immediate family. He was the son of William Louis Kaimowitz and Ruth Sarah Kaimowitz (nee Greenfield). Jeffrey's father co-owned a construction and development company started by his grandfather, a Polish-Jewish immigrant. Jeffrey grew up and attended schools in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Jeffrey earned a BA from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati. At both, he majored in Classical languages, Latin and Greek, and studied under some of the best known and important Classicists and archaeologists of the time. He excelled academically, was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa, won a Fulbright Fellowship, and won a prestigious Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. He also spent a year in Greece at the American School for Classical Studies. Jeffrey taught Latin for several years at Miami University in Ohio and later at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Although he loved to teach, he hated having to grade his students, judging them, so he obtained a position in the Spencer rare book and manuscript collection at the New York Public Library. His language background, including a reading knowledge of many European languages, was exceptionally useful in a rare book library. He loved the world of rare books and enjoyed sharing his knowledge through various articles, still used by scholars, about items in the Spencer collection. While at the NYPL, Jeff earned a Master of Library Science degree at Columbia. After earning his MLS, Jeffrey was hired as Curator of the Watkinson Library, the rare book and scholarly research library of Trinity College, where he stayed until retirement 32 years later. There, Jeff thought very deeply about the purpose of the library and its collections, and developed plans to make it stronger and more comprehensive. Because the library was intended to enrich student learning first and foremost, he constantly searched for manuscript collections that would offer the students rich, fresh fields for their own research. He also thought about and built up book holdings that rounded out topics that needed more depth or began topical collections that would offer reference material for modern scholarly concerns. As he built the library, he also shared the library. He reached out to faculty to introduce them to the library's collection and thereby greatly increased the number of classes that were taught in the library, supporting a wide variety of topics. He invited in outside speakers for programs that were open to students and the general public alike. He created exhibitions of library holdings that demonstrated how the books told stories about important topics in history, such as Renaissance religious movements or South American revolutions, and wrote catalogs that became reference works for library users. Sharing the riches of the Watkinson with the public was an important activity for Jeff. Jeffrey also was productive in his off hours, notably through his translation of the Odes of Horace. He created a highly praised translation that captured the meter and emotional experience of the odes while also using his own poetic skills to capture their beautiful language. His book was published by the Johns Hopkins Press, in hardback and soft cover. Jeff was an extremely learned man, always reading widely in history, art, and world cultures, including Jewish history and culture. He read Latin and Greek over breakfast every morning, except for Saturdays when he read the Bible in Hebrew. He studied and read Classical literature with several friends. He was very active as well and loved nature, hiking in parks throughout the U.S. and many other countries with his family and friends. He and his wife Llyn shared many other hobbies, including book design and printing on their home printing press, music from the Middle Ages to modern orchestral music, with subscriptions to the Hartford Symphony and the Hartt Chamber Series, and reading together out-loud. In the past year, he and his wife read Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, a work of incredible power and humanity. He greatly loved travel, especially planning trips that allowed him to go off the beaten path and get to know people of other cultures. He visited many countries around the world and most of the United States. Jeffrey was extremely humane, charitable, good-natured, and ethical. He dearly loved his family and was very good to them. He leaves behind his wife Llyn Kaimowitz, his son Simon Kaimowitz of West Hartford, CT, his sister Carol Kaimowitz of NYC and Essex, CT, and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ralph and Francene Conrad or Norton, Ohio, all of whom loved him very much. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Kaimowitz Family Fund at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, CT, 06117 or to the New Israel Fund, Arrangements are entrusted to Weinstein Mortuary, Hartford, CT. For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Jeffrey Kaimowitz, please visit online at

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Published in Hartford Courant from Nov. 11 to Nov. 13, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
November 22, 2020
Llyn, I was deeply saddened to read about Jeffrey's passing.......I knew him for so many years since we were kids together at camp.......and of course his family was so close to my extended family. Reading about him filled me with pride that I could call him a friend........such a sweet man and such an accomplished human being. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Simon.........I know that his memory will be a blessing. Best.....
Ruthan Wein
November 16, 2020
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Kristin Aguilera
November 14, 2020
Our condolences to the Kaimowitz family. Jeffrey was a wonderful person, and a brilliant scholar. He lived by the poet Horace's words - seize the day and regard tomorrow least. We much appreciated the thoughtful write-up of Jeffrey's life in the Courant. It was a wonderful testament to him and his accomplishments.
With sincere sympathy,
Henry and Linda Cohn
Henry and Linda Cohn
November 13, 2020
While a student at Trinity, I worked at the Watkinson (1994-95). I will always remember being 2 or 3 floors below ground level in the secure stacks where it was pretty spooky. The lights were only on the small section someone was working in and most of the time I knew I was all alone and it was so quiet. But, every now and then I'd be shelving books and Dr. Kaimowitz would walk very quickly by the stacks and it scared me as I wouldn't even know he was on the floor and he didn't walk loudly. I'd just see him from the corner of my eye. He was very encouraging of my career interest in library science too so I really appreciated the opportunity to work at the Watkinson and to learn from him and the other librarians. And he was the advisor to Phi Beta Kappa so he was excited when I became a member. Very fond memories of him!
Rachel (Schneider) Mehta
November 13, 2020
he was a good father for Simon. my mother and father were neighbors in the past.
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