Irene Rosenberg, 90, formerly of West Hartford and Bloomfield, Connecticut, died peacefully on July 29, 2021.
Born Irene Dolgin Yamron on Dec. 21, 1930 in Winnipeg, to Louis and Lillian Yamron, she moved to North Dakota as a young bride of her beloved Mervin in the 1950s, and ultimately made New England and the United States her home. She was a prolific, imaginative knitter and quilter, a meticulous homemaker who had a passion for travel, historical novels, swimming and healthy cooking long before it was in vogue. She was a beacon of stability in tough times who urged children to “wake up with alacrity,” “study diligently,” and when someone in the household was unwell to not come in “with a whoop and a holler.”
She made time and had time for a far-flung array of friends and family, some lifelong, and others newfound in Connecticut starting in the sixties, who would form enduring, multi-generational bonds. Sabbath and other holiday meals in her home were often special events, with many people squeezed in around a table abundant in traditions. A highlight was the Passover dinner, for which she spread out a crisp white tablecloth and established her own tradition: The first person to accidentally knock over a glass of red wine, got a gift. It was a prize signifying that the awardee was the first but surely not the last at a boisterous dinner, no embarrassment necessary.
She grew up and was educated in Winnipeg, where she received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1952. She focused on managing a busy household for the next four decades and in the eighties studied food service management at Manchester Community College in Connecticut. She obtained an associate in science degree in 1986 and worked at St. Mary’s Home for the Aged in West Hartford, ensuring that the elderly Sisters of Mercy who resided there were brought meals consistent with their dietary concerns.
Irene was predeceased by her younger brother Ian, two sons Joel and Hart, and husband, Mervin Rosenberg M.D., her devoted partner of 55 years who passed away in Connecticut on July 20, 2007. She leaves a son, Mark David, daughters Dale, Carol and Sharon Beth, a sister-in-law Fraydel Yamron and eight grandchildren Judith, Jimbo, Doran, Kendra, Zara, Sofia, Simon and Ian. Funeral services were held on July 30, 2021 at the Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery in Connecticut. Contributions in Irene’s memory may be made to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund at Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, Connecticut, 06117 or to the Chesed Shel Emes, 1023 Main Street, Winnipeg.
She was a member of the Emanuel Synagogue of West Hartford, including during her later years when she resided at a Hebrew Senior Life care facility in eastern Massachusetts.
She celebrated her last birthday, like many of the rest of us, in a form of quarantine. She received lovely flowers from her eldest niece and nephew, Judy and Barry, and another beautiful bunch from her sister-in-law, Fraydel. She celebrated with a deli lunch of chopped liver and egg salad — and a Zoom visit with some of her kids.
Irene turned 90 at that birthday, making her a bit younger but a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth II. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the queen riffed on a remark by Dr. Colin Murray Parkes, an esteemed and pioneering psychiatrist in England. Here is what the queen said: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”