January 2016 Issue
December 22, 2015

Passings

Source: NYSUT United

Cheryl Barry | April 2015
Kings Park Classroom Teachers Association

Eugene Melvin Brown | August 2014
United Federation of Teachers

Eugene Melvin Brown was born in Atlanta, Georgia on Dec. 29, 1932 and departed this life in New York City on Aug. 6, 2014.

He served in the US Navy and graduated from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia as the first male to receive a BS degree in Home Economics. He was honored as "All American" in football and track. Eugene was proud to be inducted into the "Clark Atlanta University Athletic Hall of Fame" many years later.

After leaving college, Eugene moved to Harlem, New York and dedicated over 50 years of his life to "at-risk" youths, stressing education, character-building and personal excellence. He spent weekends exposing them to the world beyond the neighborhood. When receiving the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Association of Black Educators of New York in June of 2014, he emphasized, "When you tell students they have to change their lives, you must be there whenever you're needed." Mr. Brown walked that walk and became infused in their lives throughout their adulthood. He secured resources, including his own that sent many youngsters to various colleges.

As a young man, he was the swimming facilitator and tutorial assistant at Dunlevy-Milbank Center in Harlem where he trained the renowned "Baracudas" enabling many to receive swimming scholarships throughout the country.

Mr. Brown entered the NYC Department of Education and became a dietician in the School Lunch Program and later dean at IS 201. Eugene later became dean at JHS 117 and achieved a Masters Degree in education. He was director of the cheerleaders and boosters and dean at Benjamin Franklin HS. He was involved in its transformation to the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics and became an Assistant Principal. While there, Eugene created and directed "The Energy Factory" which was mentioned in Congress. He earned his principal's certification. He later held the position as the Director of Drug Prevention and Intervention. He left District 5 and became Assistant to Superintendent Coleman Genn in District 27 where he created a training program for aspiring assistant principals and principals. He presented "Project Pride" that was sought after by other countries. Before retiring, he returned to District 5, became the program director and implemented components of Project Pride to address the needs of the whole child for the most challenging students in the district.

Eugene has trained lifeguards for New York State Parks and Beaches and managed various pools with his trained young adults.

He was an active member of the Fred Samuels Democratic Club in Harlem, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Clark College Alumni Organization, Kennedy Senior Center, Senior Synchronized Swim Team- the Honeys and Bears, founding member of the Roger "Buster" Bryant Foundation in NYC, Charter member of the Association of Black Educators of NY,Inc., and other organizations.

He will always be remembered for his vision, mentoring, coaching, cooking and caring for those he loved.

Eugene is survived by two sisters, Elizabeth Heard of New York and Gwendolyn Brown of Georgia, nieces, nephews, Godchildren and a host of friends.

Knikia Brown-Lord | June 24
United Federation of Teachers

Knikia Lord-Brown, 35, died June 24. Knikia, a 10-year veteran of the New York City public schools, was a teacher for the last five years at Project Ready in the Bronx, which is part of the Pathways to Graduation alternative high school program in District 79. She started out as a parent coordinator in the Bronx. Knikia was a great teacher and had a truly family atmosphere in her classroom. She is survived by her husband and three children, including an infant son. She will be truly missed. 

Marilyn Canese | April 27
Kings Park Classroom Teachers Association

Helen P. Decker | April 1
Phoenix Central School District Teachers Association

Helen McCabe Eisenhauer | June 19
Retiree Council 10

Helen McCabe Eisenhauer, long-time Kindergarten teacher in the Ballston Spa Schools, died June 19th a few weeks short of her 106th birthday.

Mrs. Eisenhauer lived a full life. Born in the Edwardian Era when women were devalued as members of society, she was a firm believer in the notion that girls were just as talented and capable as boys. She found kindred spirits in a newly-formed organization which she joined as a young girl becoming one of the first Girl Scouts in America. Baking her own cookies for a fundraiser, she sold these early Girl Scout cookies to Thomas Edison.

As a young college student Mrs. Eisenhauer worked her way through Columbia University waiting on tables. When the University planned a commemorative celebration on the 100th anniversary of the author Lewis Carroll’s birth, Mrs. Eisenhauer was asked to get to know and care for an elderly English widow who was to be honored at that celebration. The woman was Alice Liddell Hargreaves who as child was the model for Alice in Carroll’s story of Alice in Wonderland.

In a teaching career that spanned 61 years Mrs. Eisenhauer taught students from nursery school through college. For 35 years she taught generations of Kindergarteners in Ballston Spa.

Always an eager lifelong learner, when she retired from teaching Kindergarten at the age of 81, Mrs. Eisenhauer and her husband attended Skidmore College as full-time students and spent the summers attending classes at Christ Church, Oxford University in England for 10 more years.

The Eisenhauers supported many local educational and cultural activities and enriched the lives of thousands of students.

Mrs. Eisenhauer is survived by her husband of 61 years, Albert Eisenhauer, her daughter Dagne Sollid and her husband Jon of Los Alamos, NM, her granddaughter Dahr Prince and great granddaughter Miranda Hansen of Tucson, Arizona and her brother Douglas McCabe of West Caldwell, New Jersey.

Joyce Haber Goldstein | Aug. 10
Syosset Teachers Association

Miriam Weinrib Graff | May 28
East Meadow Teachers Association

Miriam Weinrib Graff was born in Lutheran Hospital in Brooklyn on Sept. 17, 1922 to Emanuel and Dora Derdiger Weinrib and died on May 28, 2015. Miriam grew up in Brooklyn and had fond memories of her childhood there. She graduated from P.S. #16 Eastern District High School and Brooklyn College where she received a bachelors degree.

In Sept. 1944 she attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and graduated with a masters degree. In 1945 she married Sol Graff who had returned after serving five years in the army overseas during World War II. They had three children; Eva, Vivian and Wayne and settled in Merrick, Long Island where they lived for more than 50 years.

Miriam was a dietitian and nutritionist who taught home economics in the East Meadows School District for 20 years.

Miriam retired as a teacher in 1984, and she enjoyed traveling with Sol and learning new food recipes. Sol predeceased her in 1999.

She is survived by her daughter, Eva, and son-in-law, Steve Suchow; daughter, Vivian, and son-in-law, Richard Lewis; son, Dr. Wayne Graff, and daughter-in-law, Anne; and grandchildren, Jordan Suchow, Elliot and Gregory Lewis, and Kaitlin and Justin Graff. 

Ruth Harwayne | Sept. 5
United Federation of Teachers

Ruth Harwayne, a founding member of the UFT, died Sept. 5 at the age of 93 in New York City. Ruth served many years as a business teacher and SPARK coordinator at Washington Irving HS in Manhattan. She lived a wonderfully long life filled with art, travel and the love of family and friends. She will be greatly missed by her devoted husband of 71 years, Frank Harwayne, four children, 5 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. 

Charmaine C. Hutcheson | April 8
Galway Teachers Association

Thomas Kavunedus | July 11
Lakeland Federation of Teachers

Elizabeth P. Palma | Nov. 15
West Genesee District Teachers Association

Carol A. Searle | Nov. 14
Onondaga Central Schools Staff Association

Jack C. Taylor Jr. | Jan. 15, 2015
Syosset Teachers Association

Jack C. Taylor, Jr., 87, of Winston-Salem died peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 at Salemtowne with his wife Barbara and daughter Jennifer by his side.

Jack was born on April 18, 1927 in Northport, Long Island, New York to the late Jack Cressey Taylor and Doris Eleanor Dwyer. Jack attended public school in Jackson Heights and Great Neck, New York. He attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He proudly served his country as a Sergeant in the United States Marines Corps stationed in Yakosuka, Japan from 1945 until 1951. Upon returning home, Jack attended Columbia University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Adelphi College where he met and married Barbara R. Bartels, the love of his life for 54 years. He continued his education at Hofstra University where he received his Master of Arts degree.

Jack taught Biology at Syosset High School for 27 years and science courses at C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in the summer months. He retired from the New York State Teacher's System and settled in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1983 with wife Barbara and daughter Jennifer. Jack enjoyed reading history, politics, and music of all varieties. He was well loved at Goodwill Industries where he volunteered his time for many years and was awarded a plaque of recognition. He also received several military medals during his time in the Marine Corps.

Jack will be remembered as a generous, kind-hearted man with a great sense of humor as well as a loving husband, father and grandfather. Jack is preceded in death by parents, Jack Cressey Taylor and Doris Eleanor Dwyer and his brother Thomas Taylor. He is survived by wife Barbara; daughter Jennifer Ong, son-in-law Christopher Ong, and grand daughter Lucille Ong; sister Cressey McDermont; special raised niece Brenda O'Shea and grand-nephew Michael O'Shea; special friends Thomas Grimm and William Plunkett as well as numerous nieces and nephews including: Anne Cressey McGraw and Doug McGraw.

Full obituaries, if provided, are available at www.nysut.org. Submissions must include decedent's full name, union affiliation and date of death, and contact information for the person submitting the notice.

Fax notices to 518-213-6415; send to Andrew Watson, NYSUT United, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110-2455; or email awatson@nysutmail.org.

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