Eleanor Kra, 77, died at Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease, July 9. In the last weeks of her life, she was surrounded by her devoted husband, children, grandchildren, her sister and countless friends.
Eleanor was born in the Warsaw Ghetto Oct.1, 1941, and was smuggled out of the ghetto by her mother early the following year. Eleanor, her mother, Rochelle, and her best friend Mary Shidlovski survived the Holocaust in Warsaw while living on false papers, and Eleanor did not know she was Jewish until after the war had ended.
She moved with her family from Poland to Germany, eventually arriving in the United States in 1949. Eleanor graduated from William H. Taft High School in New York in 1958 and from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York June 5, 1962.
At Barnard she met the love of her life, Irwin Kra, and they were wed Dec. 23, 1961. Irwin and Eleanor were married for over 57 years and lived happily in New York and Boston before settling on Long Island in 1968, where they resided for the next 46 years. In 2014 they returned to New York City.
Eleanor received a master’s degree in American history from Stony Brook University in 1971 and later was employed at the same university. For many years, she worked in the health sciences, and she retired as the assistant dean at the School of Health Technology and Management in 2008.
Eleanor devoted much time and energy to volunteer activities, even more so after she retired. She served as chair of the Center for Human Justice and Social Understanding featuring the Holocaust Collection at Suffolk County Community College. She was also a fierce activist and champion of a variety of Jewish and social justice causes, recently commenting that if you weren’t angry you weren’t paying enough attention.
Eleanor’s first language was Polish, but before and after the war, her family spoke Yiddish. She had a lifelong love for the language and was active with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Learning in Manhattan. A Yiddish language interview of her about her life can be found online at the Yiddish Language Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project.
Eleanor loved laughter, food, wine, music, friends and family. She was a warm and devoted mother, wife and friend and hosted numerous wayward guests and visitors every year on Thanksgiving, Pesach and any other holiday where someone needed a temporary home and a delicious meal. Eleanor was an accomplished cook and invitations to her table were always welcome, both for the food and for the conversation. She was always ready with a quick joke or a sharp retort, as circumstances warranted.
Eleanor adored the opera and held season subscriptions first to the New York City Opera and then to the Metropolitan Opera. She also loved travel and adventure, returning repeatedly to Israel, along with visits to dozens of other countries.
Eleanor enjoyed her final years surrounded by friends and family, enjoying all that New York had to offer. She is survived by her husband, Irwin; her sister, Rosely; her children Douglas, Bryna and Gabriel; their spouses Lisa, Brian and Julie; and her eight beloved grandchildren Stephanie, Danielle, Jacob, Elie, Calla, Jonas, Jasper and Nola.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (www.hias.org), American Jewish World Service (www.ajws.org) or www.ALS.org.
Arlene A. Pearce, of Port Jefferson, died July 5, 2019.
She was the beloved wife of W. Donald Pearce; devoted mother of Donald G. Pearce (Janine), Debbie Grimaldi (Pat) and Cindy Parry (Bill); the cherished nana of Donald C., Michael, Patrick, Stephanie, Danielle, Matthew and Katelyn; the loving sister of Carol Wickel (Joe); and dear sister in law of Peggy Butscher.
The family will received friends July 7 at the O.B. Davis Funeral Homes in Port Jefferson Station, while a Mass of Christian Burial took place July 7 at the Infant Jesus R.C. Church in Port Jefferson followed by a private cremation.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in memory of Arlene be made to: Hope House Ministries – The Ministry for Hope Inc. 501 (c) (3) E.I.N. 11-2667800 d.b.a. Hope House Ministries 1 High St. / P.O. Box 358 Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Donald John Kane, of Wilmington NC, formerly of Mount Sinai passed away July 8 at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in North Carolina. He was 87.
The youngest of eight sons, Donald was born in Brooklyn Jan. 27, 1932, to Henry Vincent Kane and Anna Donahue Kane.
Don was a career Marine serving his country all over the world as a Comms Chief. He was a veteran of both the Korean War and the Vietnam War and was a Purple Heart recipient. He retired from the Marine Corps after 22 and a half years of faithful service in 1971. He held true to the Marine Corps motto Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful), attending the Drill Instructor reunion and Marine Corps Ball every year with his wife Robin. Upon retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps, Don pursued a career with the U.S. Post Office in Mount Sinai York, where he retired after a 20-year commitment in 1994.
Don’s zest for life was contagious, and he was always the life of the party. He was known as “Uncle Don” in Mount Sinai, and as “The Godfather” of his neighborhood. Don was happiest tending his garden and spending time with his family and friends. Don was renowned for his storytelling. Family said his big heart encompassed everyone he met, and he always made you feel loved, no matter what.
In addition to his wife Robin, he is survived by his four daughters, Donna (Jonathan) Seely of Murfreesboro, TN, Dorine (Joe) Gallo of Wildwood, MO, Gloria (Jonathan) Deitsch of Marysville, MI, and Kasey (Bryan) Scanlon of Hubert, NC; daughter in law Nina Kane of San Antonio, TX; twelve grandchildren, Aimee Seely Hull, Christopher Sauer Seely, Stephanie Kane, Joseph Gallo, Elisa Gallo, Jordyn Deitsch, Taylor Deitsch, Jack Donald Deitsch, Bradyn Deitsch, Kaydince Scanlon, Brody Scanlon, Karter Scanlon; and his great grandchild, Kate Hull.
Don was preceded in death by his son, Timothy J. Kane of San Antonio, TX.
Family and friends are invited to a viewing on July 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at the O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Port Jefferson Station. A Celebration of Life and funeral service will be held July 29 at 10 a.m. at the same funeral home.
Don will be laid to rest at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jefferson.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks people to support his fellow Marines with contributions to the Semper Fi Fund at:
The Semper Fi Fund
825 College Blvd. Suite 102, PMB 609
Oceanside, CA 92057
Joan Aird Kremens
Joan Aird Kremens, 81, died June 7.
Born Feb. 11, 1938, in Maspeth, Joan was the second of two daughters to Mary and Joseph Aird. She spent her childhood in Maspeth and summers in Oakdale, where she excelled as a champion swimmer and runner.
In 1956 Joan married her high school sweetheart Chester Kremens and moved to Bay Shore. They were married for 63 years and had three sons. In 1964 she and Chester started a construction supply company, which came to be known as Sure-Set Fasteners Inc. The company grew from their deep commitment to customer service and their willingness to go above and beyond for their clients. It remains a thriving family business to this day.
The family of five were avid boaters, boating on Long Island Sound, around Shelter Island and in the Bahamas, where they vacationed.
Joan had a keen mind and was an avid reader, delving into history, medical science, current events and anything else that caught her eye. She stayed engaged politically and was a committed Democrat.
In their retirement, Joan and Chet bought an RV. After spending a few years crisscrossing the country, the couple settled into winters in Miami and became solid members of an RV community there.
Joan was a doting grandmother to seven grandchildren April, Stephen, Chris, Paul, Riley, Charlie and Annabelle; and four great-grandchildren Olivia and Ayrdrie van Bemmelen, and Penelope and Parker Kremens. In addition to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she is survived by her loving husband and her children Chester Jr. (Val), Russell (Karen) and Jim (Laura) as well as her sister Marion Aird and her nieces Jeanine Lobell and Adrienne Amundsen.
A memorial service will be held Aug. 31 from 1 to 5 p.m. in Port Jefferson. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Emily’s List. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to St. James Funeral Home.
Elizabeth M. Fitzpatrick
Elizabeth M. “Betty” Fitzpatrick of Nesconset passed away June 14 at the age of 86. Born in Manhattan, she was the beloved wife of Philip, and devoted mother of Ann, Philip and Paul. Services were held at Moloney’s Lake Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Lake Ronkonkoma. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross R. C. Church in Nesconset with interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.
Dorothy Marie Miller
Dorothy Marie Miller of Hauppauge passed away June 26 at age 78. Born in Islip, she was the beloved wife of the late Myron, devoted mother of Myron and the late Pamela. Services were held at Moloney’s Hauppauge Funeral Home, Hauppauge with a private cremation at Nassau Suffolk Crematory, Lake Ronkonkoma.