Isabel Savel was born February 19, 1937, in New York City. She was raised in Englewood, New Jersey, and graduated from Englewood High School. Her father’s family came from Czechoslovakia and her mother’s family came from Romania. She graduated from New York University with an A.B. degree on the same day that her husband graduated from New York University College of Medicine.
They had met at a school dance and they stayed together for over 62 years. She studied Jewish studies at the Hebrew Union College in New York City and received a master’s degree in early childhood education at Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven. She studied knitting with Elizabeth Zimmerman and Chinese cooking with Grace Chu at the China Institute in New York. She taught elementary education first in Eastport, New York and then in Burlington, Vermont.
She and her husband have two sons: Dr. Richard Savel, Director of Critical Care Services at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York Dr. Thomas Savel, Director of Informatics Research at the Centers for Disease Control and prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
She and her husband have lived in the North Country since 1967 with residences in Westport and Elizabethtown since 1971.
After her children started school, she began working in her husband’s medical practice as administrator and bookkeeper and worked regularly until her final illness.
She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Elizabethtown and enjoyed marching in the Memorial Day Parade while her husband carried the American flag.
Besides devotion to her family, she was a lover of classical music, playing both the piano and the violin. Her piano playing can be heard on YouTube as the piano accompaniment to her husband’s videos about the Holocaust. She was a superb knitter and all her finished pieces came with a lifetime repair guarantee. The last pieces she finished were woolen mittens for her son and a knitted woolen necktie for her husband. Her writing skills were superb and her Holocaust short stories have been published by her sons and her husband and are available on amazon.
She leaves behind her husband, two children, Richard and Tom, and grandchildren, Asher Savel and Benjamin Savel.
Her final illness resulted from long-term damage she suffered from rheumatic fever in childhood. She will be interred in the Elizabethtown Cemetery with a graveside religious service.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Moisan and the staff at the Elizabethtown Community Hospital for their excellent care during her final illness.
Donations in her memory should be sent to the Savel Education Fund at the Elizabethtown Community Hospital.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Heald Funeral Home, 7521 Court St., Elizabethtown.
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