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Obituary of Myra J. Zeleznik
Myra June Zeleznik, nee Kipnis, beloved mother of David and Debra, and mother-in-law of Maxine Klein, M.D. of Essex, Connecticut and Mary A. Wilkowski of Honolulu, Hawaii died peacefully in Clinton, Connecticut, on January 7, 2023. Myra, 86, was born in Washington D.C. She was married to Reivan Zeleznik for 67 years, residing for over 50 years in Stamford, CT where they raised their family. Myra was preceded in death by her husband Reivan last year. Myra is survived by sister Dolores and husband Eugene Ebert of Bethesda, Maryland, sister Irene and husband Jeff Rosenbloom of Potomac, Maryland, and brother Allen and wife Iris Kipnis of Naples, Florida, and nieces, nephews and a large extended family. A brilliant woman, Myra held a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hunter College and master’s degrees in mathematics and educational administration from Fairfield University. She taught math at Rippowam High School in Stamford, Connecticut, ultimately becoming chair of the math department at West Hill High School. Strict and dedicated to her students, she devoted countless hours, not only to students who excelled in her AP calculus classes, but also to struggling students and the math-phobic. Her teaching had a practical streak; she taught her students how to make change, balance their checkbooks, and use coupons to their best advantage. Myra simply loved people and watching them from various park bench perches. As keeper of the family’s history, her rolodex was a mother-lode and she remembered everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries. She was a generous host whose home had an open door, and, as an avid correspondent, she kept in touch with a large extended family, their friends, and their friends’ friends. She was a great cook and baker (she LOVED chocolate) and threw great parties. All were welcome at the Zelezniks’ bountiful table. Myra basked in the sun while gardening in her raspberry patch. During visits with her daughter in Hawaii, she spent endless hours walking the beach. At home in Stamford she would cajole visiting family and friends to accompany her for strolls on the local beaches. Myra loved to learn; she was an avid reader and she devoured periodicals, including The New Yorker, cartoons first of course. She studied and discussed national and international history and politics as a valued participant in the Brandeis Women’s Discussion Group. Myra had a great sense of style; her Chinese brush painting and glass and silver jewelry work were elegant and impeccable. During the early years of her marriage she sewed her own clothing. Myra’s moral compass was unerring, and she had a voracious appetite for news; she was an active member of the National Council of Jewish Women and participated in social justice matters, especially for victims of food insecurity. She boycotted lettuce and grapes to highlight the plight of farm workers, and drafted letters and made calls when injustice demanded. A night owl, Myra was at her best between 11p to 1a, after Johnny Carson’s monologue, when friends and family could always count on vigorous discussion. She danced and loved music, from jazz to the Grateful Dead. She was feminist, independent, and a role model. She knew how to be a friend. Myra was an adventurous cook, and enjoyed hosting Jewish holiday celebrations. She traveled widely, visiting Hungary, Russia, France, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti, among others, presenting papers at math conferences, and rock hunting outdoors with her husband Reivan, a lapidary, for treasures she would incorporate into her jewelry and art. Donations in Myra’s memory can be made to The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries at https://shorelinesoupkitchens.org, Jewish Community Services of Hawaii at https://www.jcs-hi.org, Hawaii Foodbank at https://hawaiifoodbank.org, and World Central Kitchen at https://wck.org. A graveside service was held at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York, on January 10, 2023. To share a memory or to leave condolences please visit www.rwwfh.com. Arrangements are in the care of the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Centerbrook, Connecticut.