The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 137

Lots About the Class of 1974

February 19, 2024


Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,

Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 137.

According to Substack, in the first 24 hours after publication, Newsletter # 136 was viewed 3,121 times, was “liked” 19 times, and received five comments. In all, 4,740 email addresses received Newsletter # 136.

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The Usual Words of Wisdom

Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 136 Newsletters (and much other Wheatley data and arcana) at

Wheatley School Alumni Association Website

Also, thanks to Keith is our search engine, prominently displayed on our home page: type in a word or phrase and, wow!, you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material. I use it frequently; it usually works!

I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof.  I cannot and do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me. TWSAA does not have a fact-checking department.

We welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568, and the people who administered, taught, worked, and/or studied there. Art Engoron, Class of 1967

Help with Television Script Wanted

Writes Alexander Barnett (1985) - “My wife and I have created a TV script based on her experience as a Black female fashion designer working in NYC's Garment District, within the mass market fashion industry, and we're looking for folks who might help us move the project forward to fruition. Ideal connections would be persons affiliated with production companies or streaming services, or, alternatively, agents or managers in the TV/film industry.”

Faculty Appreciation

Writes Elvira (“Vivi”) Cilmi Kunz (1964) - “Hi Art, I have wonderful memories of many faculty members at North Side and Wheatley. I could fill numerous pages with the particulars of coaches and teachers who took the time to assist in the formation of our  adolescent beings. I will forever appreciate their time and energy. They inspired me to go into teaching and encouraged so many of us to venture into whatever would help us be the  best we could be. As I write this note, I am particularly thinking about Peter Witt.

I am still in touch with him every few months and enjoy conversations of fun memories and times we spent exploring the trials and tribulations of growing up “Wheatley”!  I had Peter for 9th Grade English and then he was drafted! A couple of my friends, Gerri O’Connor, Anita Weigel (both 1964) and I wrote letters to him several times and even sent him chocolate chip cookies! He called us ‘The Three Musketeers,’ and we laugh about our teen-age girl antics thinking we were helping him survive bootcamp.

He is now 87 and living in North Carolina.  He has a wonderful sense of humor and enjoys reading to kindergarten students in a local elementary school. Such a humble college professor!

Peter was the person I went to after school before my sports practice time to help with after class ‘stuff’ that teachers have to do, but as we took care of all that, there were conversations about the themes of the literature we were studying at that time in class. Many  important subjects like goals and ambitions were present as we gathered and stapled the future lesson materials.

He never seemed too busy to listen and give some ideas to consider.   I would then go off to sports practice as the ‘intellectuals’ filled his room for in-depth discussions beyond my scope.

Peter returned to Wheatley in time for 12th Grade English, and I had had two years of great English teachers in between, so I was ready for Peter’s course. He made the literature interesting and fun, and I went off to college way ahead of  most of the freshmen because of his insightful teaching.  I so appreciate his time, effort and energy during my Wheatley years. I continue to enjoy our relationship and emails. He has made Wheatley memories come alive as we reminisce about the ‘Good Old Days.’

He is a genuine good Christian man who continues to bring smiles to my face and inspires me to continue to strive to make a difference in this crazy world. Over the years, I have enjoyed time with Peter and his wife and I actually babysat for his two little girls as I went to college.

I am thankful that I experienced his wisdom and faith during my high school years, as he helped make them meaningful.

I applaud Peter Witt….dedicated educator, professor, husband, father, grandfather……friend. Thank you.”

Wildcat Sports

Writes Paul Giarmo (1976) - “Hi Art, I would like to add to the remarks of John “Monk” Moncure (1960) about Wheatley football in its ‘glory days.’ The Varsity Team compiled a final record of 5 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie in 1958.  The 0-0 tie was played at Wheatley against the Great Neck South Rebels on Saturday  Nov. 1st, 1958. 

 The 1958 football season was the second year for our Varsity  program. The 1957, 1958 and 1959 seasons were a 🏈  gridiron  dynasty for the new school, during which Wheatley compiled an overall 18 win, 4 loss and 1 tie record. Even the Junior Varsity team got in the act, recording a 7 win, 0 loss and 1 tie (against Levittown Division) record in 1959. Simply amazing, especially for a new, and small, school. 

Listed below are the final scores from that very successful 1958 football season:

Monday, Sept 29th, 1958  (Home)

    Herricks      7.     

    Wheatley  14.   Won

Thursday, Oct 2nd,  1958.  (Away)

    Wheatley   28.   Won

     Plainview.   7

Saturday, Oct  11th,  1958. (Home)

      Syosset.   12

      Wheatley. 13.   Won

Saturday,  Oct. 18th,  1958.  (Away)

     Wheatley.   20.   Lost

      Clarke.       35.

Monday,  Oct.   27th,  1958.   (Home)

     Levittown Division.   -0-

     Wheatley.                   32.    Won

Saturday,  Nov. 1st,  1958.    (Home)

     Great Neck South.   -0-

     Wheatley.                  -0-     Tie

Saturday,  Nov.  8th,  1958.    (Away)

     Wheatley.        7.        Lost

     Plainedge.     14.    

Saturday,  Nov.  15th,   1958.  (Away)

      Wheatley.      12.       Won

      Floral Park.     6.

So the final record of 5-2-1 was achieved; good enough for a 3rd place standing in the North Shore Athletic League Section 3 Division. 

The Wildcat defense also recorded 2 shutouts in 1958 in the 8 game season.

After an undefeated 1957 season of 8 wins, 0 losses (including 4 shutouts), the Wildcats won the first 3 games of the '58 season before suffering its first ever loss at the hands of the eventual Division Champions, the Clarke Rams. 

In the 1959 football season, the Wildcats continued their winning ways, compiling a 5 win, 2 loss record to finish in 2nd place in the new North Shore Athletic League Conference 4, recording another 4 shutouts along the way. Amazing! And we probably would have scored a 5th shutout against Oyster Bay, but that game, scheduled for Saturday,  October 24th, 1959, was rained out and never rescheduled. (The Baymen were winless that year at 0-6).  

‘Monk’ was co-captain, along with George ‘Dixie’ Howell, of that very successful 1959 Varsity Football Team.  

Sadly, Wheatley didn’t see similar success on the gridiron 🏈  until 1974, when the Junior Varsity team, in the midst of a rebuilding program, would achieve a record of 6 wins and 1 loss, (including 3 shutouts). And yes, I was a proud member of that team.

As my classmate James Juczak wrote in the last issue, the Class of 1976 was infamous in Wheatley history. Many of us were "outlaws and desperados"; but we knew how to play football. Just sayin'.  Paul (‘Spirit of '76’) Giarmo “


1958 - Jeffrey Philipson - Deceased

Jeffrey Philipson (1940 – 2024) 

New York businessman and artist, Jeffrey Philipson, 83, of Riverdale, New York, died in The Bronx, New York on January 30, 2024 due to complications resulting from multiple sclerosis. 

Jeffrey was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 13, 1940, the middle son of George Philipson and Sarah Altschuler and brother to Ira and Steven. Jeffrey attended The Wheatley School in Roslyn, New York, where he made lifelong friends with Eddie Kritzler, Charlie Shapiro (both 1958 and deceased), and many fellow classmates, before attending the University of Vermont. At UVM he befriended Fred Goldberg, future godfather to his sons. Jeffrey left school early to take over the family business from his ailing father. As a business owner and soon a father of two, Jeffrey was also a self-taught student of fine art, art history, psychology, world history, politics, and biography. 

In Whitestone, New York, as young parents, Jeffrey and his first wife, Andrea Gates, raised their sons, Glenn and Adam, alongside their neighbors Steven and Louise Bergerson and their sons, Eric and Andrew. The families remain lovingly close to this day. 

Jeffrey met the love of his life, Virginia Higgins, in 1980 at a house party in Jersey City. They lived their 40 years together, until her death in 2020, with their cats, Spunky, Toughy, Missy, and Sheba, first in The Breukelen building in Brooklyn Heights, with a breathtaking view of New York Harbor, and then in Riverdale, New York. Virginia’s daughter, Heather Higgins, joined them in Brooklyn Heights in 1984 and Jeffrey loved her as his own daughter. 

Jeffrey and Virginia were thrilled to be grandparents and doted on Adam and Alma’s children, Amanda and Aldan, proudly cheering on their countless academic, theatrical, and sporting accomplishments and hosting birthday parties and an annual Christmas celebration. They also thought of the children of their dear friends and neighbors Robin Weinstein and Paul Alpert, Brandon, Zoe, and Ryan, as their grandchildren, hosting art camp, sleepovers, birthday parties, and an annual Easter egg hunt. 

For over 30 years, Jeffrey was the third generation owner of Philipson Press, innovating as technology and market consolidation transformed the industry, shuttering so many independent printing shops. During his career, he had stores in Bedford Stuyvesant, Wall Street, Greenwich Village, and Tribeca. All of his children were schooled in customer service, working a broom, and operating the shop equipment. Jeffrey maintained the shop at 52 Warren Street until he sold the business and retired in the late 1990s. Jeffrey was a champion and generous supporter of the Tribeca artists and small business people he was so happy to serve and befriend. 

Jeffrey was a talented athlete, excelling at basketball, boxing, and football as a student and at squash as an adult. In the 1980s, his passion for sports was diverted by multiple sclerosis, a cruel disease without a cure, which he did not let diminish his life. He sought out cutting edge treatments and purposefully stayed active to keep his body and mind strong and fit. So remarkable was his resilience in the face of the disease, the MS research community raised him up as an astounding success story. Ultimately, he became paralyzed in 2012 and moved to The Hebrew Home, his treehouse overlooking the Henry Hudson River. 

Throughout his adult life, Jeffrey delighted in making abstract sculptures and drawings. He relished his long talks with his Aunt Sara Pildes about art theory and technique. Her stories about painting every day inspired his creative process, as did the instruction from his teachers, including Elisa Eisenman. He adored and was fascinated by trees; he became particularly attached to the ones he saw every day and featured them in some of his art. He was also a lover of music. He played the Dulcimer as a young man and the harmonica more recently, often improvising ditties for his family or to entertain himself. 

A touchstone moment for Jeffrey was when family and friends traveled to Alma’s hometown, Santa Maria Coatepec, Mexico, in 2001 for Adam and Alma’s wedding. The three Philipson brothers and their wives laughed their way through great traveling adventures and were the main attraction on the dance floor after the wedding. 

If you knew Jeffrey, you knew he was very witty and loved both to be funny and to enjoy the humor of others. When telling a story, he would cock an eyebrow or make an exaggerated face to great effect. What is perhaps most remarkable about Jeffrey is that throughout the adversity he experienced, he retained his inherent optimism, patience, and gracious cheerfulness. May Jeffrey’s memory be a blessing to all who loved him. 

Jeffrey Philipson was preceded in death by his life partner, Virginia Higgins, and his older brother, Ira Philipson. He is survived by his sons, Glenn Lawson (Joe) and Adam Philipson (Alma); his step-daughter, Heather Higgins; his grandchildren, Amanda, Aldan, and Aria; his younger brother Steve Philipson (Barbara), his sister-in-law, Rebecca Philipson; and many loving nieces and nephews and their children. Jeffrey and Virginia’s family will be eternally grateful to the Weinstein-Alpert family for their unending love and support throughout their years in Riverdale. 

The family will make arrangements for private gatherings with loved ones to celebrate Jeffrey’s life.”

Writes Heather Higgins - “Hello Wheatley Alumni,

It is with profound sadness and hearts filled with love that my brother, Adam Philipson, and I write to share that Jeffrey Philipson, proud Wheatley alumnus, passed away on January 30th after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. He had many lifelong friends from Wheatley who were very dear to him. He cherished those memories. Heather Higgins and Adam Philipson”. HEATHER HIGGINS,, 434.760.3330

1964 - Susan Obrant - Exhibition at Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art, 1701 Main Street, Peekskill, NY, 2/15/2024 to 4/10/2024, 3-5 PM.

1965 + 1967 - Richard Strauss and Leslie Buckner Strauss

Writes Leslie - “Richard and I are celebrating 50 years of marriage this year. We’re wondering how many other Wheatleyites, besides Bob and Jill Forte, can say that- not just being married for so long, but to a schoolmate?  Pretty amazing! We are in Chester, CT, a small town about 8 miles north of the Long Island Sound on the CT River. We raised two daughters here, and now we have six amazing grandkids to enjoy. We also enjoy visitors.”

1967 - Robert Hecht - An Usher At the Usher Super Bowl

Writes Robert Hecht (who recently moved to Las Vegas) - “Unbelievable! I got to usher at the Super Bowl at the 50 yard line, in a Million Dollar Suite. I met too many celebrities to mention, but among them were Lebron James, Wayne Gretzky, the  owners  of The Raiders and The Golden Knights, Gayle King, Martha Stewart, Jim Nance, and other rappers and basketball players. My new besties are Martha and Mahomes’s wife. All in all, an amazing experience.

1967 - Ilene Kornblath Rosenbaum - Memories

Writes Robin Freier (1972) - “I am shocked and sad to hear about Ilene Kornblath’s passing! She was such a sweet person - always had a beautiful big smile! Our parents were friends, and I had reconnected with her through Facebook several years ago. We often commented on each other’s comings and goings. I will miss her beautiful smile.

Writes Art Engoron (1967) - In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I often hitchhiked. One day I was riding in the cab of a tractor-trailer heading east on the Long Island Expressway where it crosses over the Cross Island Parkway, moving very slowly because of traffic. I happened to look out the window and noticed Ilene Kornblath driving a red convertible sports car with the top down. I called out to her, and of course she offered to drive me the rest of the way. So in the middle of three slow-moving lanes of traffic, I hopped out of the truck and hopped into her car, and she drove me all the way to 26 Bengeyfield Drive. Truth is stranger than fiction.

1967 - The Brave Souls at Wheatley’s 60th Anniversary Celebration, 10/15/2016

Front Row - L-R - Suzy Liebert, Scott Frishman, Mara Danziger Robinson, Debbie Friedman Lieberman, Frances Miller Merkler, Amy Pastarnack Hughes

Back Row - L-R - Phil Fea, Susan Miller Penn, Corinne Zebrowski Kaufman, Art Engoron, Nancy Stevens, Judy Orgel Meilinger, Howard Senft, Larry Weiss, Scott Geery

1969 - Gerry Gersh - Marital Bliss

Writes Gerry - “Hi Art!  Patty & I celebrated my birthday on Valentine’s Day, which is my actual birthday, at the Bird & Bottle Inn in Garrison, NY. It’s been operating since 1761 and features 1700s ambience, a musket hanging on the wall in the bar, and a HUGE stone fireplace raging in the large dining room. Love ya, Ger”

1971 - Neil Rosenberg - Four Lifetimes in One Life

 I was a less-than-stellar student (my own fault) as a member of The Wheatley School Class of 1971.  Among my most memorable experiences at Wheatley was the time I spent with a small computer that was installed in the Audio Visual Office, teaching myself to program.  I also cherish the opportunity to have learned from some really great teachers, such as Messrs. Bongarzone and Workman.

Following graduation I went to MIT, where (again) I was an unremarkable student.  My most notable activity at the “tute” was exploring creative photography under the mentorship of Minor White, a noted artist and educator.  It was there that I met my future wife, Nancy, a Wellesley girl.  As of July we’ll be married for 49 years.

This was followed by Master of Science work at Stanford as a “Product Design” major, where I finally started to mature and get fired-up.  After graduating we moved back to New England, which we greatly preferred to the California experience.  I took a job at Hewlett Packard in their medical division, doing engineering work on various aspects of EKG equipment and supplies.

During the next several years I had various three-year stints at companies like Centronics, Dataproducts, Wang Labs and NEC Information Systems.  It was at NEC that I met my future business partner, Glen Horton.  He and I commuted together for those three years, scheming about breaking free to create our own software business.  In 1985 we mutually pulled the plug on NEC and formed Inner Media, a software consulting company.  We each had an office in our respective homes, which allowed us to be home for our respective growing families – it worked quite well, and over time we developed and released our own private-label software products, one of which is still being sold (amazingly).

I became bored with software and changed gears dramatically.  Having an interest in piano rebuilding, I joined the local guild, built a large shop on our property and, under the mentorship of one of the guild members, learned the craft.  I did that for about three years (typical), but it, too, proved tiresome after about the twentieth rebuild.  By that time our kids had both graduated from the local high school (Hollis-Brookline NH) so the time seemed right to see if I could do something useful in education, particularly tech ed.  The principal was a friend and he instantly hired me to start up a Technology Center at the newly renovated high school.

During the next few years I wrote and taught whatever courses I could imagine, ranging from robotics to video production, eventually to add courses from the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) cooperative.  I started a FIRST robotics team (FRC 1037) at the school, which took off.  After a short while the team had more students than the football team and had garnered considerable interest in the community.

An opportunity arose in the Manchester NH school district for a leader to bring this kind of STEM education to their considerably larger student body.  I moved my focus to that district, working to educate faculty and administrators in how to create such programs.  I also continued to teach, moving regularly between their four high schools.  This was a heady time, busy and very productive.  It was after a few years in Manchester that I learned of a pair of openings at FIRST corporate, which was nearby in the mill district.  

There were postings for a Scholarship Director and Engineering Manager.  Since Nancy had prior experience with scholarships (mostly through our involvement with the Rotary in Hollis), she was a natural fit for the scholarship position.  I decided to wait for her to land that job (which she did) before applying for the Engineering Manager position.  Eventually we both joined FIRST, an amazing and life-changing experience for us both.  During that time I worked with many talented and highly motivated people, among them Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers and many more that I met at the various regional competitions.  A number of these are great friends to this day.

Living and working in New Hampshire had its health costs however.  After having to shovel/blow considerable snow for multiple winters, I ended up with pneumonia twice, and  I feared that a third bout would kill me.  So, in early 2010 we decided to move to a warmer clime.  We read the books and decided to check out Asheville, NC. We traveled there to find a new home, which we did, and throwing caution to the wind bought it, and over the next year moved out of New England.  As a bit of irony, as the last moving box was delivered snow started to fall and didn’t stop until we had two feet on the ground: no power, no water, no heat.

Things improved, thankfully, and we gradually created a new life in the Asheville area.  Made new friends, and I taught engineering to Mechatronics students at UNC Asheville.  I founded the “Robotics Opportunity Committee”, whose charter was to bring STEM education to under-privileged communities.  I also created and taught several courses at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville.  During that time our daughter, Lauren, living in Northborough MA, produced two beautiful daughters of her own.  As grandparents we were extremely bothered that, due to covid restrictions, we were unable to see them and be part of their lives.  This had to change.

With the help of Lauren we bought a nice (we thought) house in Grafton MA, sold our NC home, and moved to a new dwelling.  It was a time when a good home was exceedingly difficult to find and purchase, so we had to overbid and remove any restrictive language from the offer.  Things like inspection.  Over the first year of ownership we spent every available penny and then some on fixing all the things that needed work.  There was a LOT to do, but we finally had the place under control.

It happens that our new home is only a town or two away from Worcester Polytech, WPI, and I learned from a friend that they were looking for a lab manager for the Robotics Engineering Department.  This sounded great, as it offered me the people contact I wanted, a chance to give back in a way that suits my background, and best of all, I didn’t have to do any grading, which I abhor.  For two years now I have filled that role, and I find it very fulfilling and enjoyable.  Now that I’m in my seventies, it’s great that I can still be ‘in the game.’

A postscript to this story is that I’ve renewed my interest in creative photography in a big way, have joined up with a group of like-minded artists, and recently won an award at a local fine-arts exhibit. A few of my photos can be seen at 

Neil Rosenberg's Photos

That’s about it; sorry to be so long-winded. Fond regards, Neil Rosenberg, Class of 1971”

1974 - James “Rusty” Becker - Deceased

Sister Meredith Becker, 1981, pre-deceased him.

1974 - Meryl Lynne Kivowitz Stone - Deceased

Write Debra Copeland and Elyse Rame Beyer (1974) and Sharon Kivowitz Siegel (1977) - In early November, a light went out.  We were saddened and shocked to hear that Meryl Lynne Kivowitz Stone had passed in her sleep.  Elyse called Debra to relate the sad news through a teary-sounding voice.

At one point in her life Meryl became a bit reclusive and chose to stay connected with only a limited number of friends within an inner circle.  We’ll do our best to share what is known.

After graduating from Wheatley, Meryl attended SUNY Oneonta. She eventually moved to Chicago, where she met her second husband and worked at the Merrill Chase Gallery, a prestigious art gallery. She started in sales and eventually rose in the corporation to become vice president in charge of corporate sales, a division of the company that she created. Meryl loved this career and flourished in Chicago. 

Unfortunately, Meryl  suffered several traumas throughout her life, which confronted her with many challenges.

Meryl’s sister and cousins held a Zoom Shiva for her, during which people shared great Meryl stories. 

Meryl never demanded attention, it just came to her.  She had sparkle – in her eyes and all around her.  Meryl loved Israeli dancing and singing. Ilona Willick (1974) fondly remembers going to Meryl’s house and taking turns dancing to Monkees songs in the basement while her grandmother watched.  Meryl had a beautiful singing voice. There was one particular song she sang with her dad – which Elyse, Sharon and Kivowitz cousins remember.  What came through was how warm, loving, and caring Meryl had been. She was one of the most giving and generous people we ever knew.  She stayed with people down on their luck and gave to so many in need.  She made friends with everyone and would listen to everyone without judgement.  

Typically, Meryl always showed caring for others, no matter what was going on in her own life.  When Debra’s sister, Joanne (“Jojo”) (1970), was diagnosed with Breast Cancer (“BC”), Pam Sweeney (1974) remembered that Meryl had BC at 27.  Pam suggested a BC support network.  Debra reached out to Meryl, and Meryl reached out to Jojo and provided advice on “to dos” and “not to dos.”  Jojo called Debra afterward; it was the most elevated her voice was in a year and ½ of surgery and chemo.  

Debra was so grateful that she told Meryl that anytime she needed Debra, Debra would be there for her.  When Meryl came to NYC for her bi-annual testing at Sloan-Kettering, Debra took the day off from work and spent it with her.  Meryl’s generosity of spirit will forever be etched upon Debra’s heart.

Meryl admitted to Debra that her greatest sadness was not being able to have children.  So, when Meryl’s husband’s (Ron’s) daughter’s stepchildren from Ecuador needed a place to live, Meryl and Ron welcomed them.  At that time, Meryl shared “… now I’m going to be a Mommy.”  What a great turn of life events. Eventually, only the daughter, Paulina, stayed, and she lived with Meryl and Ron for many years.  Paulina had a son, Dannon, whom Meryl loved like any grandmother would love her grandchild.  

Meryl and Ron spent their best days during summers in Chautauqua, NY, where they had a home on a lake. They attended many educational and cultural events at the Chautauqua Institute and entertained a great deal.  It was truly beautiful, and it was Meryl’s happy place. 

Meryl and Ron moved to Florida and soon thereafter Ron experienced a terrible car accident and was left with a traumatic brain injury. Meryl was by his side every day at the hospital.  Hospital staff commented on how devoted to him she was.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone who knew her.  Meryl and Ron stayed together; however, Ron’s condition was difficult to live with, adding to Meryl’s challenges.

Meryl was predeceased by her father Bernie, mother Sheila, and younger sister Susan. Meryl is survived by Ron and Dannon, her sister Sharon and Sharon’s family, and a  large extended family to which she was very close.

We don’t have much information about the circumstances, but we think Meryl passed away peacefully in her sleep.  The Lord knows, she needed peace and to be free of any bodily pain.  Her husband, Ron, chose not to post an obituary.

Farewell to Meryl, a light in this world.  May her soul be light and her body pain-free and as light as the beauty of her singing voice.

Birth date:  October 2, 1956

Date of Passing:  November 8, 2023

Writes Elyse Rame Beyer (1974) - “I always stayed in touch with Meryl and had gone to visit her a few months before she passed, which I did once or twice each time I was in Florida.  As difficult as it was to see her in the condition she was in, we were still both so happy to be together.  Meryl was more than just a friend, she was like a sister intertwined in each other’s families and lives.  We were best friends from a young age after her family moved to Belmont Drive in the Country Club.  She was always in my house or I in hers. My mother always knew that if Meryl was over, Mom had to set another place at dinner. My mother was a wonderful cook, and Meryl loved to eat.  My mother used ask where she put it all, as Meryl was always so skinny.  The night of the blackout in 1965, I was staying with Meryl and I remember my mom and sister coming to Meryl’s house, where we all spent the night together after our fathers got stuck in New York City.   

I remember when I broke my chin roller skating in her basement. She was the first person I saw when I walked into a small French restaurant in Chappaqua, where I was going for what I thought was a brunch, only to learn something was up when I saw her in the doorway, as she had come in from Chicago for what was to be my surprise wedding, which she and other friends helped my now-husband Mark Goldberg pull off. I remember her driving to Florida with me and my grandparents and how we celebrated all birthdays, weddings and events together.  I was often included in family events, holidays, and even her father Bernie’s retirement party from Mattel. The company made a Barbie movie just for her dad.  I will always remember going to Chicago for her step-daughter’s wedding; they had rented out buses to take everyone on a whirlwind tour of Chicago sights and famous eateries.  Our friendship stayed strong and we were there for each other though joyous and difficult times for over 60 years. There is a place in my heart that lights up when I think of her, despite all her difficulties in later years. I truly hope that she rests in peace.”

1974 - David Lebowitz - Deceased

Writes Michael Dubb (1974) - It is with a heavy and broken heart that I pass along the sad information that David Lebowitz has passed away.  David fought a valiant battle with both cancer and Parkinson’s disease. 

Dave started kindergarten at the North Side school and went through The Wheatley School system.  Upon graduating from college, he operated, until  his passing, the Mr. Jay Appliance store in Williston Park, started by his father, Jay. Those who remember the store may recall that its motto was, ”the Gentleman of the Appliance Industry.” David was a true Gentleman: humble, caring, good natured, and with a great sense of humor. He was a wonderful husband to his wife, Amy, a devoted father of 3 children, and a beloved grandfather. 

Shiva will be observed at the Clubhouse at Country Pointe at Plainview, 1 Charles Wang Drive, Plainview NY, At the following times [including] Monday, noon to 4.00pm and 6.00 to 8.00pm.”

Writes Gregory Cave (1974) - “Dave was a fine friend and classic gentleman. A classmate of mine since 5th grade. He was also known as ‘Hips.’ R.I.P.”

Fan Mail

1960 (Rochelle “Shelly” Levine Dicker) - “I love reading these articles and memories of wonderful days at The Wheatley School.….And we were never allowed to say “Wheatley High School!”

1970 (Jane Roeder) - “Please keep the Newsletters coming. 😊” 

1974 (Gregory Cave) - “Thank you Art…..Wheatley Rocks!”

1974 (Elyse Rame Beyer) - “Thank you so much for all you do to keep our Wheatley community in touch.”

1981 (John Hughes) - “I appreciate all you do with the Newsletter.”

1985 (Alexander Barnett) - “Thank you for all the great work on the Newsletter. I love reading it and staying connected to the Wheatley Community.”

A Friend - “I enjoyed Newsletter # 136. I am looking forward to Newsletter # 137.”


That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 137.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.


  Arthur Fredericks Engoron, Class of 1967