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PASTERNAK--Shirley, passed away peacefully Friday, November 9, 2012 in the Chicago home of her son. She was 77. She was born on July 10, 1935 in Milwaukee to David and Dorothy (Gonik) Gorbitz. She graduated from Washington High School in 1953 and received her BFA in 1975 and MFA in 1978 from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Shirley discovered her identity as an artist in her 30's - first as a painter and subsequently a photographer - and exhibited her work in Milwaukee and later in New York, where she resided from 1981 until the time of her death. Her beautiful artwork can be viewed at She is survived by her loving sons Robert Kohl (Clark Pellett) of Chicago and Lawrence (Stacey) Kohl of Los Angeles; cherished grandchildren Julia, Max and Jason Kohl and Elizabeth Zinman; brother Jack (Charlotte) Gorbette; nieces, nephews, and dear friends. She was predeceased by her parents and her brothers Robert Grant and Milton Gorbitz. She was married and divorced from Sidney Kohl and the late Charles Pasternak. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation 60 E. 56th St., 8th floor, NY, NY 10022.

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Published in New York Times on Nov. 15, 2012.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Her sons Robert and Larry Kohl
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3 entries
January 17, 2020
To all of Shirley's immediate family:

It all began in the Coffee Trader on the eastside of Milwaukee, where her comment "Don't I know you from somewhere" turned into additional time spent together. Shirley's free spirit, art, and joie de vivre was contagious. What I will always cherish are the wonderful dinner parties, her beautiful smile, and her passion for making each and every day more important than the last. Thinking of you and wishing to thank you for stretching my imagination, similar to elasticizing a canvas which awaits the paint. (2020)
Ed Anhalt
March 30, 2013
I just found out you passed away Ms. Pasternak.. I didn't know you very well, but we had a painting of yours in the office where I worked, I always admired it and it reminded me of my grandmother in Spain and her paintings that adorned the walls of my mother's house... I always thought of you as the epitome of a new York artist living life to the fullest. You seemed like the coolest mom, and I enjoyed our brief conversations we had when you would come to L.A. to visit your son who happened to be my boss. You will be missed Shirley...
scott mccall
November 15, 2012
Shirley, I will miss our wonderful dinners in your neighborhood and all the laughs.
You were a very talented artist and photographer. I will always cherish our special time together. Love Catherine.
Catherine Steinmann
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