July 27, 2020
Dear T-D Faculty, Parent Body, Student Body, Alumni, and School Friends,
She was elegant. She was eloquent. She was earnest and she was enthusiastic about each and every day of her 40-year engagement. Joan Silverstein was everyone’s friend and, I might add, was one of T-D’s most admired, valued, and revered members. No other T-D spokesperson fielded more questions and answered all of them with ease and with poise. She came to T-D as a librarian, became the lead IT person and managed T-D’s Tuition Payment Program. All were full-time positions and in more than one year she did all three – always with total humility. Kindergarteners and seniors alike sought her counsel. Teachers used her resources and resourcefulness before, during, and after school bells rang. All questions from anyone at any time were handled with refined attention and Pavlovian patience.
In my earlier years she was my go-to person – an “Alexa” long before Amazon brought her into the world. She was like my own encyclopedia and boy did she know stuff; stuff I didn’t and real stuff we all needed to hear. If you only met Joan Silverstein one time, you knew exactly who you met. She was always the same and treated everyone the same. Whether it was July 25, 1980 or July 25, 2020, Joan Silverstein stayed Joan Silverstein. Negatives were not her words and malice never made it into her book of life.
Joan Silverstein loved almost every one of her days as a proud New Rochellean. She enjoyed books like Ragtime and Hamilton-both rich in New Rochelle lore. She loved a wide variety of books and read many of the great ones. Her humanity reflected the best any human can radiate – clearly over the moon. Joan lived in the East End of New Rochelle with her mensch Al Silverstein. She was all smiles whenever she shared photos of her children-all big kids now-and her grandchildren. Janet, Matthew, and Peter were foremost in her “other world” and there would never have been a day in their lives where Joan would have failed them. Her devotion was too deep.
A copy of Joan’s last email to me appears below. It was received on Thursday of last week.
Joan left us on Saturday, July 25th at 9:55 PM.
From: Joan Silverstein
Date: July 23, 2020 at 10:53:24 AM EDT
To: Doug Fleming <email@example.com>
So good to talk to you yesterday. Wanted to tell you too how grateful I am for the “Japanese” mirror you brought me years ago. I have it here and it is so useful, not only the mirror, but the handle.