Anne Ellman, long-time resident and steadfast progressive activist in the Mid-Hudson River Valley, died peacefully Friday, April 27, at 3:45 in the morning. She was 95 years old.
Born Anne Tobias in Stuttgart, Germany, she and her older sister, Rose, and mother, Yetta, lived in Lodz, Poland, until 1930 when they emigrated to the United States to join her father, Philip, who had gone ahead to New York to find work and refuge for the family from the impending European disaster.
Anne attended Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx, acquiring a life-long love of literature and the arts that eventually lead to a career in public education as English teacher and guidance counselor. With her beloved husband, the late Martin Ellman, she collaborated on entrepreneurial ventures from poultry farming to antiques dealing to an international trade in Eskimo and Native American art and artifacts. After Martin’s death she returned to school to earn a second Master’s degree and began a new career teaching English as a second language. She taught inmates at Wallkill State Prison and students of the Unification Church in Barrytown, NY. She was a tireless volunteer with Family of New Paltz and an active member of the Poughkeepsie chapter of Planned Parenthood. She continued her travels to Europe, Mexico and Central America. Though self-described as non-spiritual and a-religious, she was a passionate enthusiast of Yiddishkeit, always thrilled to attend weekly Yiddish classes at the local synagogue during her years as a resident of Woodstock, NY.
Anne spent her final years in West Palm Beach, FL, close by her older son, Steve Ellman, his wife, Julie Williams, and their son, Clarence. At 95 she remained an avid reader and moviegoer, fiercely politically aware, and a formidable Scrabble opponent.
She is survived by, in addition to Steve, Julie and Clarence, her daughter, Barbara, Barbara’s husband, Scott Goldwyn, younger son Eric Ellman, her grandchildren, Alec Goldwyn and Alicia Craig, Alicia’s husband, Michael Craig, and great-grandson Korben Craig.
Donations in her name are being directed to two of her favorite causes, Planned Parenthood and Family of New Paltz.