Leslie Maron, 65, passed away peacefully Jan. 27, 2018, at the MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care Center in the Mount Sinai-Beth Israel Hospital in New York, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
She spent her final physical days surrounded by her loving family and friends, and the caring attention of the MJHS staff.
Born Nov. 6, 1952 in Brooklyn, she was raised in East New York and became the first member of her family to attend college — an experience she would write about in her 1975 op-ed piece for The New York Times, “Making it, Slowly.” She graduated magna cum laude that same year with a degree in psychology from Lehman College.
At Lehman, she would meet not only many lifelong friends, but also the love of her life, Seymour Kolitch. They shared a loving relationship until Sy passed away in 2003 after a two-year battle with cancer.
She would go on to receive her master’s in social work from Columbia University. As a dedicated social worker, she touched countless lives at hospitals throughout New York City, including Beth Abraham Hospital, and through the Cambridge Wellness Center, which she founded and operated with her husband.
In each area, she patiently taught, rigorously upheld, and passionately fought for the values of social justice, equal opportunity, compassion, joy, laughter and a strong sense of family and community.
She was a dedicated member of the Riverdale community. She founded the Riverdale Women’s Walk for Wellness, enjoyed attending services at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and frequented The Riverdale Y.
Outside of Riverdale, she loved to spend time at Merrywood Manor, the vacation home in upstate New York she and Sy designed and built together with their many circles of friends. She also loved family trips around the world, from Israel to South Africa to Costa Rica.
No matter where she was, she remained an avid lover of music, dancing and animals, especially her precious black Labradors.
She is survived by her elder brother Jerry Maron and his family; her son Ian Maron-Kolitch and partner Miguel Torres; her daughter Sarena Maron-Kolitch and husband Nicholas Bohlen; her amazing home health aides Sandra Charles and Ulina Gustave, who lovingly cared for her and became dear friends to help keep her in her home; and her incredible network of friends from Lehman College, Columbia University and the Riverdale community.
Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her brother Elliot, and her parents.
A service celebrating Leslie Maron’s life was held Jan. 28 at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites everyone to make donations in Leslie Maron’s name to CaringKind and the American Civil Liberties Union — two organizations close to her heart.