Hyde Park resident Eugenie Victoria Mirelowitz (née Rivkin) passed away on March 27, surrounded by family. She was 88 years old. Mirelowitz was an educator in New York and Chicago, who taught at the elementary school and university level.
Rivkin was born in Brooklyn in 1926, the youngest of three children. She was named after Eugene Victor Debs, railroad Union leader and Socialist Party Candidate for U.S. President.
Mirelowitz married Seymour “Sy” Mirelowitz, a social worker, in 1951, and in 1964 they moved to Chicago, where Sy was hired as Director of Boys Brotherhood Republic, a West Side affiliate of Chicago Youth Centers.
They settled in Hyde Park with their son Geoffrey and their daughter Naomi, who both attended Bret Harte Elementary School and graduated from Kenwood High School. The Mirelowitz family were members of K.A.M Temple, which later merged with Isaiah Israel to become K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Synagogue. They were also members of Independent Voters of Illinois.
Mirelowitz taught public school in New York and Chicago. She taught for a year at Ray Elementary School in Hyde Park and then for several years at Carnegie Elementary School in Woodlawn. She went on to earn her master’s at Northwestern University and doctorate in education at Loyola University of Chicago.
Mirelowitz retired from public school teaching a few years after her husband passed away suddenly in 1983. After retirement she traveled often, visiting her son Geoff and daughter-in-law Lisa in Seattle as well as her daughter Naomi, son-in-law Finesse “Corky” Farley and her only grandson Evan (her precious “O and O”) in Los Angeles.
In the early 90s, Mirelowitz began walking daily with Hyde Park neighbor Saul Shagam. That was the start of a close companionship that lasted to the end of Mirelowitz’s life. They traveled, went to the theater, went out to dinner and shared wonderful times with friends and family. They were frequent diners at their favorite Hyde Park restaurants The Nile and The Snail.
In 2011, Mirelowitz knew she needed help from family as her health began to fade. In a move of great courage, she packed up and moved across country to be near Naomi, Corky and Evan.
Family and friends will remember Mirelowitz as a compassionate listener, an animated storyteller and a second mother to many of her children’s friends.
Mirelowitz is survived by her son Geoff (Lisa) of Seattle; her daughter Naomi Farley (Finesse) of Los Angeles; her grandson Evan and her older brother Larry Rivkin (Janet).
A celebration of Mirelowitz’s life was held April 2, 2015 in California.