Irene Joslyn Polakoff (Shklarin), 93, of Princeton died Sept. 11, 2019. Born in New York City, she grew up in the Bronx and also lived in Brooklyn and Valley Stream, Long Island, before moving in 2012 to Brandywine Living at Princeton.
Mrs. Polakoff graduated from high school at 15 and from Hunter College, New York City, with a degree in fine arts, at age 19. She earned her master of arts degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
She had been teaching at Girls High School in Brooklyn and then became part of the original faculty at John Bowne High School in Queens in 1964. When she retired from John Bowne at almost age 70, she had been teaching for nearly 50 years, the longest tenure in New York City school system.
An accomplished artist, her works included charcoal portraits and impressionist oil paintings of scenes from her extensive travels, and she specialized in watercolor and ink paintings of floral arrangements from important family events. She won her final art competition, sponsored by the Health Care Association of NJ 2015, painting “A Tribute to Harold.”
She also enjoyed traveling around the world.
Predeceased in 2002 by her husband, Harold, whom she married in 1948, she is survived by her son, Donald R. (Karen) of Princeton; her daughter, Susan (Barry) Zeveloff of Tenafly; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held Sept. 15 with arrangements by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, Ewing. Memorial contributions may be made to Parkinson’s Foundation; The Jewish Center, Princeton, Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund; Temple Sinai of Bergen County, Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund; Cantor’s Music Fund at Temple Am Echad, Lynbrook, N.Y.; Greenwood House, Ewing; Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County; or Teachers College of Columbia University — Irene Shklarin Polakoff, M.A. 1948.