Miriam K. Scheraga passed away January 5, 2020 at the Cayuga Medical Center. She was born in Brooklyn, NY to Hirsh and Sarah M. Kurnow. She married In June 1943 to Harold A. Scheraga, who became Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University.
As a child, Miriam and her family spoke only Yiddish at home and she first learned English after starting school. The family was vegetarian and Miriam ate no fish, poultry or meat until after her 21st birthday.
Miriam graduated from Brooklyn College (now part of SUNY) and received an MS degree in Library Science from Syracuse University at the age 50. She worked as a catalog Librarian for 30 years retiring at the age of 90.
The Scheragas have 3 children, Dr. Judith Stavis (Dr. Donald) of Demarest of Demarest, NJ, Deborah (Dr. Aurel Kleinerman) of Menlo, CA and Daniel Dr. Janet of Tully, NY , 5 Grandchildren Jonathan (Suzanne) Stavis, Rebecca Stavis, Alexandra Kleinerman (John Holm, Dana Kleinerman, Jeffrey (Naima) Scheraga, and 4 great grandsons Luke and Reid Stavis and Wolf and Kai Holm.
Miriam loved her family dearly and was always happy to see them
Miriam also traveled extensively with Harold and enjoyed and enjoyed most of what she encountered.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday January 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM at the Temple Beth El with Rabbi
Miriam Spitzer officiating, burial to follow at Lakeview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Temple Beth El, Ithaca, NY or to the Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St. Amherst, MA 01002.
Published by Ithaca Journal from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2020.
I loved Miriam very much. She worked with my husband Igor at Olin library. Was at the funeral of my brother Israel Berstein in 1992 . She attended the wedding of my daughter Mya whom she knew from childhood. Miriam never forgot to call me every year when she Would get a new year card with my grandchildren. Miriam was a very warm and special person. I talked to her on the phone the last year. My daughter Mya will never forget her.
February 25, 2020
No sweeter lady have I ever known ... Miriam. Both an honor and pleasure to have had the opportunity to provide care for this dear lady during her time at Kendal. My deepest sympathy to family and friends .. may memories provide comfort.
January 10, 2020
I met Miriam after she moved to Kendal. I would see her when Debby and I were in town to visit our parents. She was always smiling and friendly.
I didn't know about her long career as a librarian or that she had taken Arabic classes. What a long and rich life she led! She was an impressive woman who will be missed.
January 9, 2020
Harold, Our sincerest condolences on Miriam's passing. Always cheerful and helpful, Barbara warmly remembers all her help with Hebrew cataloging issues.
Frank and Barbara DiSalvo
January 8, 2020
Harold, Judy, Debbie and Danny:
Please accept my condolences on Miriam's passing. I have many fond memories of her.
January 7, 2020
Dear Harold, Judy, Debbie and Danny, I was saddened to see Miriam's obituary in the paper this morning. I have so many good memories of visits, dinners and gatherings with Miriam and all of you. My parents were very fond of Miriam, as were my uncle and aunt, Dave and Pnina, in Israel. (I wrote to my cousin Ari in Israel with the news.) As my father's office assistant, Miriam was such a big help to him for many years, including during the period when the Semitics Department was just getting started. And I admired her for pursuing her library career, beginning in her late 40s. She was a smart, sweet, kind, giving and caring woman, with a good sense of humor as well. And I personally benefited from her kindness and encouragement. May her memory be for a blessing. --Joel Rabinowitz
January 7, 2020
January 6, 2020
It was a great pleasure to work with Miriam in the cataloging department at Cornell. May her memory be a joy.
January 6, 2020
Miriam and I were outlier classmates taking Arabic at Cornell in 1973. I was in 8th grade and Miriam was a different age. We sat together as the odd couple. I will always remember her kindness.
January 5, 2020
Harold, Deborah, Judith and Dan; I am greatly saddened by your Wife and Mom's passing. They were a large part of the Jewish atmosphere of Belle Sherman, and even in recent years when I wouid return for High Holidays they would always be very kind to me, with wonderful remembrances of my parents. May you maintain beloved memories and be comforted always.
January 5, 2020
Miriam was a life member of Hadassah. She always greeted me with a cheery hello and warm smile. She is missed. Nancy Emerson (TBE)