March 1, 1917 – March 14, 2012
A tomboy in her youth, Elsie sledded down the hills of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx with her brothers, Albert & Martin. She advanced to handball at Seth Low Park in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn where she and her handsome Sam raised their 2 children, and to tennis at Three Arrows, the Jewish Socialist utopia upstate where they found lifelong friends and hammed it up on stage every summer. Winters, in pleated skirts, stockings, ankle socks and sensible shoes, Elsie walked to PS 205 daily to teach her kindergarten children, as happy to sit with them on the floor as to play piano for their singing.
Elsie was one of the first to join the mind-body explorers of the mid 20th century. When her children were in grade school in the 50s, she was trying health foods (wheat germ in milk in a little pyrex dish in the morning; the ubiquitous pot of spinach and lentils on the stove), meditation (the only mother among her children’s friends to do TM), yoga (even frog pose) and psychoanalysis (in those days called “head shrinking”).
Elsie’s granddaughter calls her a zaddik; true or not, she was the best listener around, quietly giving herself to the subtleties of others’ stories and feelings. Many, including her children, granddaughter, daughter-in-law, and friends basked in her sunny attention; she made everyone feel special. Elsie continued to teach others through her last breath, quieting her mind and passing in peace and at ease in her bed at Vista del Monte.
Elsie Sklar (née Wiesenberg) was born March 1, 1917 in the Bronx, NY. After graduating Hunter College, she taught kindergarten for 25 years at PS 205 in Brooklyn. She was predeceased by her dear husband, Samuel Sklar, formerly a detective Captain at the 78th precinct in Brooklyn. Cherished mother of professor Deidre Sklar and Santa Barbara firefighter Rick (Nadav) Sklar, Elsie moved with Sam to Santa Barbara in 1979 to be near her son and daughter-in-law, Dena Sklar (Greenfield) and to help raise beloved granddaughter, Justine Sklar Yerushalmi.
She is survived by her son, daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and 3 great-granddaughters, and by brothers, Albert Warren of New Rochelle and Martin Wiesenberg of White Plains. A memorial will be held in the Sierra Madre Lounge at Vista del Monte on Sunday April 15, 2012 at 2 PM. For information email Deidre. Charitable gifts may be donated in her honor to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation