Irwin Grace, of Hillsdale, NJ, passed away on March 9, 2020 at the age of 94. Irwin was born on September 14, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY to Morris and Rose (Goldman) Greis. His parents had immigrated to America from Jewish settlements within the Russian empire, and spent the years of the Great Depression working in sweatshops and moving the family from one cold-water flat to another. He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, and was a draftsman before establishing a career in music education.
After earning a bachelor’s at City College of New York, a master’s in musicology at New York University, and a Doctorate at Columbia University, Irwin taught music appreciation and music history at Kean College (formerly Newark State) for more than 30 years. He belonged to Temple Emanuel in Woodcliff Lake, where he served for a number of years as coordinator of its adult education program. In addition to his lifelong love of music and teaching, he enjoyed traveling the country and the world with Sybil, his wife of 62 years. He also cherished spending time with his beloved grandchildren, who affectionately nicknamed him Grumples. He was predeceased by his older sister, Frances (Grace) Taub, and is survived by his wife, Sybil (Safrin) Grace; sons Louis, Jeremy and Adam; daughters-in-law Lucy Walker Grace, Hilda Cook Grace, and Lisanne Renner; grandchildren Benjamin, Phoebe, Eliane and Julian; niece Joanne Taub and her spouse Marc Krellenstein; and nephew David Taub.
Contributions in Irwin’s honor would be welcome to Pascack Valley/Northern Valley Hadassah (send to: Lauren Babus, 185 Van Winke Lane, Mahwah, NJ 07430 - and write "Irwin Grace Memorial Fund" on the check's memo line), the Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, MA), or any charity of your choice.