Irlene Chernoff Waldman 1928 - 2018
MILWAUKEE, WI - Irlene Chernoff Waldman died peacefully on February 25, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one week after her 90th birthday. Her daughter Amy and granddaughter, Talia, were by her side.
Irlene was born in New York City on February 18, 1928. The youngest of five, she grew up on a dairy farm in Sangerfield. She graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University and was a lifelong fan of the Orange. She earned a Master's Degree from Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
She worked in the city for several years before moving to Utica in 1958 to help her parents. She taught kindergarten in the Whitesboro Public Schools and eventually became a reading specialist with the Utica Public Schools.
Not long after returning to Utica, Irlene met and fell for Elliot D. Waldman, the Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El. They married on July 3, 1958 and honeymooned on Cape Cod, a place they visited often during their 16 years together. They had two daughters, Amy and Debby.
After Elliot died in 1974, Irlene bought a house on the Cape, continuing the family tradition of summers there. After retiring in 1983, Irlene moved to the Cape, becoming an active member of the Cape Cod Synagogue. She also began volunteering at the United Way of Cape Cod, where she made herself so indispensable that she was hired as an information specialist, a job she held for 15 years.
Irlene loved reading, playing bridge, completing the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, making friends and seeing new places. She especially enjoyed traveling with her three older sisters, all of whom were widowed not long after she was. Among their holiday highlights were a culinary tour of Asia and a cruise through the Panama Canal.
After Debby moved to Alberta, Canada in 1992, Irlene made regular trips to that region. She also leapt at opportunities to attend concerts by her niece, Debbie Friedman, a Jewish singer who died in 2011.
In fall 2011, Irlene began a new chapter in her life when she moved to Milwaukee to live near Amy. In 2013, the Parkinson's disease with which she had been diagnosed in 2004, made it impossible to live independently. She moved to the Ovation Jewish Home, where she was lovingly looked after by the compassionate staff in the Helen Bader Center.
Irlene leaves her daughters, Amy (Gene Haack), of Milwaukee, WI and Debby (David Wishart), of Edmonton, Canada; her Frolkis granddaughters, Liza, Alex (Tevie Lipton) and Talia (Abbi Huber); her Wishart grandchildren, Elizabeth and Noah; great-grandson, Micah Tyler Frolkis; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and friends. In addition to her husband and niece, Irlene was predeceased by her parents, William and Eva Rollband Chernoff; and siblings, Bessie Pollicove (Sam), Ann Binder (Ralph), David Chernoff (Adele) and Freda Friedman (Gabe); three nephews and two great-nephews. She was especially close to Freda, 95, the sibling closest to her age, who died February 15.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Waldman Fund at Temple Emanu-El in Utica, the Ovation Jewish Home and Care Centre in Milwaukee, WI or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
The funeral will be Friday, March 2, 2018 at 11 a.m., at Temple Emanu-El, 2710 Genesee Street, Utica with Rabbi Peter Schaktman and Rabbi Henry Bamberger officiating. Interment will be in Temple Emanu-El Cemetery.
Arrangements are with the Bentz Funeral Service, Inc., New Hartford.
Condolences to bentzfuneralhomes.com
Published by The Observer-Dispatch from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, 2018.