Irene B. Wise
Passed away on May 5, 2019 in McLean, VA, four months prior to her 100th birthday. Irene grew up in Mt. Vernon, NY, the daughter of Judge Jacob and Sophia Bernstein and sister of Miriam, Richard, and William. She was also the beloved granddaughter of Abraham Cohen of New Rochelle, NY. A gifted violinist, she earned a scholarship to Sarah Lawrence College to study music, graduating in 1941. She married Dr. Charles S. Wise, and they became the proud and loving parents of Thomas, Robert, and Joan. In 1947, the family moved to Washington, DC, which would be Irene's home for the next 67 years. Irene became a welcome and respected presence in the amateur classical music community. After Charles's sudden death in 1967, Irene worked as a medical office manager and continued to devote her life to love of family and music. Irene played her violin several days a week in various string quartets, orchestras, and chamber music groups in venues ranging from private homes to concert halls and embassies. She was a valued member of the Friday Morning Music Club for 50 years. Irene was a performing violinist for more than 80 years, already appearing onstage at age 7 and serving as a concertmaster and soloist until age 90. Irene was a gracious hostess and was known for her warm smile, charming manner, infectious laugh, keen intellect, and her sage advice. She was truly loved by all who knew her. Her memory will live forever in the hearts of her grateful family.Irene is survived by her three children and their spouses, Dr. Thomas and Karen Wise, Dr. Robert and Beverly Wise, and Joan and Bernard Goloboy; sister and brother-in-law, Drs. Miriam and Melvin Rosenthal; grandchildren, Catherine and Dr. Elizabeth Wise, Matthew and John Wise, and James and Andrew Goloboy; and great-grandchildren, Caroline Strouse, Henry and Edward Wise, and Charlotte and Paige Goloboy. In addition, she is survived by her dear nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her brothers William Barrett and Richard Bernstein. Irene's funeral was held on May 13.Contributions may be made in Irene's memory to the Friday Morning Music Club, 755 8th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Published in The Washington Post on Jun. 2, 2019.