NEUBERGER

On August 7, 2015, RENE, beloved father of Ernest Neuberger and Rene Neuberger; loving son of the late Ernest and Martha Neuberger. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Tuesday, August 11, at noon. Interment at Chevra Ahavas Chesed Cemetery, Randallstown. The family will be receiving at the Glyndon Grill, 4844 Butler Road, Glyndon, MD 21071, immediately following interment until 5 p.m.

‘Compassionate, Caring’ Jerry Sklar’s impact felt across three decades of students

Jerry Sklar stands between former students Lewis Kemper (left) and Gary Levine a few years ago. Inset: Jerry Sklar teaches a photo astronomy class at Pikesville High School in 1972.

Jerry Sklar stands between former
students Lewis Kemper (left) and Gary Levine a few years ago.

Jerry Sklar, a science teacher at Pikesville High School who taught biology and chemistry for 31 years, died July 18 at the age of 74. Sklar was best known to his students over the years for his photo astronomy elective, which he pioneered.

Sklar kept in touch with many of his students after they graduated and into their adult years. His memorial page on Sol Levinson & Bros. website is sprinkled with messages of thanks from former students, including Lewis Kemper, a professional photographer.

“A piece of Jerry lives on every time I click the shutter,” he wrote on the page.

Kemper said prior to Sklar’s class he had no idea he was interested in the field but was introduced to some of the greatest works.

“He sparked my desire and led me on my career path,” he said.

Sklar grew up in Pikesville and at 16 met his eventual wife, Helene, at a holiday party they attended in 1956. Helene said she was instantly drawn to him due to his good looks and charming personality.

“My parents said you have to wait until you’re 16,” she said. “So I abided by that since I was a good girl.”

After a while they began dating. He attended the University of Maryland and obtained a teaching degree while she went to nursing school. They married in 1963 and had their first child, Stephanie, two years later. Their second child, Ryan, was born in 1967.

Sklar began teaching at Overlea High School in 1963 and moved to Pikesville High after four years, where he taught until his retirement in 1998.

“Being a teacher, he dealt with kids and he knew how to handle the kids at school,” said his wife. “He was compassionate, he was caring, and every student who knew him had absolutely wonderful things to say about him.”

Helene also said her husband earned favor with his students by giving them money to go buy lunch from nearby Miller’s Deli.

“He did a lot of things that a lot of other teachers wouldn’t do,” she said. “That’s the kind of guy he was.”

Sklar said her husband’s easygoing demeanor was what rubbed off on her the most.

Jerry Sklar teaches a photo astronomy class at Pikesville High School in 1972.

Jerry Sklar teaches a photo astronomy class at Pikesville High School in 1972.

“The main thing is not to let things bother me too much,” she said. “I worry about the kids.”

The couple’s daughter, Stephanie Meskin, said her father had a sarcastic style of humor that became popular with his students.

“He was always short and quick with the comments,” she said.

Meskin also attended Pikesville High and graduated in 1983. She wasn’t allowed to be a part of her father’s class but said he was an adviser to her graduating class.

She said his determination and passion for teaching were the traits that stood out to her the most.

“He was definitely a fighter. He never gave up on anything, he was persistent,” she said.

Among the memories of Sklar’s classes, none may have been more compelling than the 1972 senior trip to Canada to watch a solar eclipse. Kemper was on the trip and said they borrowed the school telescope and had a perfect location staked out, only to have clouds obscure the eclipse. He recalled the class ended up watching it on TV but still had
a good time.

Kemper stayed in touch with Sklar right up until his death, staying at Sklar’s house in Rehoboth Beach, Del., last year when he went to give a lecture. He said he was struck by the number of messages of support on Sklar’s memorial page.

“We thought we had a monopoly on him, but then we see how many other students he impacted,” Kemper said.

Kemper’s friend, Gary Levine, who also took Sklar’s class as a senior in 1972, said he was a “jock” at the time and he originally signed up for photo astronomy because he thought it would be an easy A.

“One of those things that you hope for in your senior year is not to take too many tough courses,” he said. “We take this course, photography and astronomy and it’s one of those courses that follows you your whole life.”

Levine drove his van to Canada with Kemper on the senior trip in 1972 to meet the teachers who were there. He said experiences like that were what made Sklar’s class memorable.

Levine ended up joining his family furniture business but still takes photos of eclipses as a hobby. Since the 1972 trip he has seen nine eclipses in places such as Egypt, Mexico and Iceland. He plans to travel to Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Aug. 21, 2017 to see the next solar eclipse.

Said Levine, “Once in a new moon you get a teacher like Jerry Sklar who rides with you the rest of your life, who teaches you things you take with you your whole life.”

dschere@midatlanticmedia.com

COLMAN

On August 5, 2015, Dr. RICHARD S., beloved husband of Myra Colman (nee Shofer); devoted father of Erica Rubinstein, Fredric Colman (Julie Pearl) and Steven (Suzanne) Colman; loving brother of the late Milton Colman and Eleanor Cohen; cherished son of the late Clara and Samuel Cohen; adored grandfather of Spencer Daniel (Marnina) Rubinstein, Brian Jeffrey Rubinstein, Jacqueline Lindsay (Alisha) Babbstein and Samuel, Daniela, Brandon, Eli and Caroline Colman; loving great-grandfather of Kailey and Bryce Rubinstein. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Monday, August 10, at 2 p.m. Interment is private. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1850 York Road, Suite D, Timonium, MD 21093. In mourning at 921 Chestnut Ridge Drive, Lutherville, MD 21093.

GERTSENOVA

On August 6, 2015, Asya (nee Fridkin), beloved wife of the late Semen Gertsenov; loving mother of Alen (Liliya) Gertsenov and Irina Gertsenova; loving grandmother of Edward Gertsenov, Rachel Gertsenov, Marina Hoffberger and Diana Meyerson; adored great-grandmother of Simon Hoffberger. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Friday, August 7, at noon. Interment at Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery, Berrymans Lane. Please omit flowers. In mourning at 11107 Valley Heights Drive, Owings Mills, MD 21117.

ROBBINS

On August 5, 2015, MARTHA (nee Gulkis), beloved wife of the late Peter Robbins; loving mother of Thomas (Carolyn Franz) Robbins and Susan (David) Liberman; cherished sister of the late Louis (Bea) Gulkis, Sidney Gulkis and Dorothy (Jack) Robbins; grandmother of Lena Liberman; beloved daughter of the late Thomas and Ethel Gulkis. Funeral services and interment at Moses Montefiore Woodmoor Hebrew Cemetery, Washington Boulevard on Thursday, August 6, at 12:30 p.m. Please omit flowers. In mourning at 7384 Park Heights Avenue (Park Village), Baltimore, MD 21208.

AUGUST

On August 4, 2015, HAROLD LEON, beloved husband of Toby August (nee Wagman); cherished father of Beth (Yaakov) Sheinfeld and David (Julie) August; loving brother of Herbert (Linda) August and the late Jerry August and Ruth Morewitz; devoted grandfather of Sam August, Maia Sheinfeld, Josh August and Noah August. Funeral services and interment at Arlington Cemetery, Chizuk Amuno Congregation. North Rogers Avenue on Thursday, August 6, at 3 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the charity of your choice. In mourning at 7902 Winterset Ave., Baltimore, MD 21208, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

KORDON

On August 4, 2015, PHYLLIS (nee Astrow); beloved wife of Melvin Kordon; devoted mother of Kevin (Gianina) Kordon, Marshall (Laura) Kordon and Robert (Tracy) Kordon; dear sister of Myra Fecteau; cherished grandmother of Steve, Rebecca, Avram, Elena, Jackson and Decker Kordon. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Thursday, August 6, at 2 p.m. Interment at Columbia Memorial Park, Columbia, Md. Please omit flowers.

WEINTRAUB

On August 4, 2015, DOTSY, an exceptionally caring and devoted nurse to many during her career; loving sister of Rona Weintraub; beloved daughter of the late Jack and Bessie Weintraub. Also survived by many loving friends and family. Funeral services and interment are private. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Baltimore Humane Society, 1601 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown, MD 21136. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, August 7 from noon – 3 p.m. at Blue Stone Restaurant, 11 W. Aylesbury Road, Timonium, MD 21093.

TARROW

On August 4, 2015, ANNE (nee Diamond), beloved wife of the late Arthur B. Tarrow; devoted mother of Arthur (Mary) Tarrow, Jr. and Dr. Lynne Michael (Dr. Robert) Blum; dear sister of the late Edith Travis and Saul Diamond; loving grandmother of Dr. Alexander (Dr. Audra Harris) Blum, Jamie Blum, Amanda Blum; dear great-grandmother of Harrison Blum and Phoenix Blum. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Thursday, August 6, at 10 a.m. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. In mourning at 2125 Cambridge Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, Thursday and Friday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

BODENHEIMER

On Saturday, August 1, 2015, HILDE (nee Freudenthaler), beloved wife of the late Fred Bodenheimer; beloved mother of Larry Bodenheimer and Heidi Bodenheimer; cherished daughter of the late Ludwig and Hedwig Freudenthaler. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Sunday, August 2, at noon. Interment at Chevra Ahavas Chesed Cemetery, Randallstown. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place S.W., Washington, DC 20024. In mourning at 7240 Park Heights Ave. #204 (Park Slade Condominiums), Baltimore, MD 21208, through Friday afternoon, with services at 6:45 a.m. and 8 p.m. The family also requests no visitors between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and after 9 p.m.