Rena Berkowitz, age 99, passed away on Friday, Aug. 21, 2009, at her home in the village of Granville. She almost reached her 100th birthday.
She was born in Sheshequin, Pa., on Nov. 12, 1909, the daughter of Miles Solomon and Fannie Solomon. Her family moved to Elmira soon after her birth.
She graduated from the South Side High School in Elmira. She received her teacher’s degree from Albany State teachers college where she met her husband, the late Sen. Albert Berkowitz, who predeceased her on March 5, 2008. He was then a student at Albany Law School. She was then employed as a teacher for many years in Elmira and Granville public school districts.
Rena married Berky on Nov. 29, 1934, and they resided in Granville continuously until Berky’s death. They were married almost 74 years. Throughout her years in Granville Rena was active in a variety of community and political activities.
Rena was a past matron and member of Sylvan Chapter Eastern Star for more than 65 years.
She was president of the Washington County Women’s Club. She actively participated in financial appeals on behalf of the Granville Hospital, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts (she was a den mother), and the American Red Cross. She has been a member of Temple Beth El of Glens Falls.
Rena is survived by her five children: Philip A. Berke and his wife, Deborah, of
Granville, Joan W. Rhodes and her husband , Alan, of Glens Falls, Richard K. Berke and his
wife, Elizabeth, of Glens Falls, Nancy L. Ostrov of Clifton Park, and Susan K. Berman and
her husband, Joseph, of Delmar. She is also survived by her 12 grandchildren and her 10 great- grandchildren. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and was loved deeply by all of them.
A private funeral service was held for the family and burial took place on Aug. 23 at the Temple Beth El Cemetery. There were no calling hours.
Donations in memory of Rena may be made to the Albert Berkowitz Scholarship Fund established for graduating students of the Granville Central School and sent to the Glens Falls Foundation at 237 Glen St., Glens Falls, N.Y. 12801.