Died peacefully on October 6, 2015 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. This extraordinary woman was 96 years old. She was born on March 30, 1919 in New York City where she lived all of her long, productive life. She was a 1945 graduate of the School of Art at The Cooper Union, to which she was a devoted and generous alumna, establishing the Irma Giustino Weiss Scholarships for meritorious students in art and architecture and the IGW Cultural Enrichment Fellowship Program. The latter was particularly close to Irma's heart, as it provided students with the financial means to experience the unique artistic, theatrical and cultural treasures of New York City. The other favorite object of her substantial philanthropy was the Whitney Museum, to which she was a major donor, contributing at the highest levels, primarily towards the new building. She had a successful career and marriage. Irma was the first female hired in the Art Department of Triangle Publications, later received two Art Director Awards for her work at Ziff Davis Publishing, and ultimately became a Creative Director at Conde Nast Publications. She married Benjamin Weiss in 1969, and he predeceased her on October 23, 1992. It was a magical marriage, whose romance never ended. A building at Rockefeller University is named for them. She was a woman of style, an exceptional cook, highly intelligent, witty and a "liberal" in the best sense of the word. She deeply cared about human rights. Right up to her death, she was a yeasayer to life, going at it full blast, benefitting always from her most treasured virtue, her curiosity. In due course, a memorial service will be held in her honor.
Published in New York Times on Oct. 16, 2015.