In Memoriam: Alumni Classes of 1952 - 1959

Joan Amy Gurgold ’53, of Sarasota, Fla., who was active in Jewish life, civic affairs and the arts, died on March 7. She was past president of the sisterhood and served on the board of directors at both Temple Beth Sholom in Sarasota and the Yorktown Jewish Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. She loved the arts, especially theater and opera. She leaves her partner of 40 years, Eugene Menaker; two sons, Steven and Eric; a daughter, Lisa; five grandchildren, Brandon, Danielle, Jesse, Stefanie and Alexis; and her great-granddaughter, Kinsleigh. Fruma Bachrach ’55, of River Edge, N.J., a reading specialist in the Englewood public school system for many years, died on April 19 after a 15-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She graduated with honors from Brandeis before studying at Teachers College at Columbia University. Fruma was active with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) during the early 1960s. She is survived by Nahum, her husband of 56 years. They met as children in the summer community of Raananah Park in Highland Mills, N.Y., in the 1940s, and spent summers there every year after. She also leaves three sons, David, Joel and Alex, and five grandchildren, Joshua, Melissa, Ben, Molly and Natalie. Shelly Beth Richter ’55, of New York died on July 24. She leaves her husband, Lester; a son, Martin; and three grandchildren, Ariel, Jordon and Hunter. Ellen Block ’55, of Tarpon Springs, Fla., a longtime school guidance counselor in Peabody, Mass., died on June 27. She moved to Florida after retiring from the Peabody school system. Ellen volunteered for many years with the Humane Society of Pinellas County and the Suncoast Animal League. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Arnold; three children, Andrea, Lisa and Benjamin; and five grandchildren. Janet Adaskin Walder ’55, of St. Petersburg, Fla., who helped manage the law practices of her husband and daughter for many years, died on June 27. She leaves her husband of 55 years, Arthur; two daughters, Lauran and Lynne; two sisters, Joan and Judith; and two granddaughters. Her niece Ellen Barry Fallon ’75 graduated from Brandeis. Linda Brailove Kneucker ’59, of Vienna, Austria, honorary secretary of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), died on Jan. 23. She joined IIASA in 1992 as part of the Office of Sponsored Research, where she provided valuable assistance on many research proposals. In 1998, she took over the coordination of the IIASA Society, the organization’s alumni group. She leaves her husband, Raoul Kneucker ’59, a Wien Scholar; three children, Fanny, Hannah and Alexander; and her sister, Susan. Survivors also include cousin Michael Brailove ’60 and nieces and nephews Ben, Michal Ann, Rachel ’77 and Ruth Horowitz. Pioneering journalist Esther Kartiganer ’59, who rose from a job as a temporary assistant at CBS to become a senior producer with the television network’s flagship “60 Minutes” news program at a time when few women held leadership positions in journalism, died of a heart attack on Aug. 1 in Aspen, Colo. Esther, who had homes in Colorado and New York, was stricken while engaged in a favorite pastime: riding her bicycle to a gondola that would transport her to a mountaintop, where she enjoyed reading The New York Times, according to CBS News. The winner of 13 Emmy Awards, she served as senior editor and then senior producer at “60 Minutes,” the highly rated news magazine, during a career at CBS that spanned more than 40 years. At “60 Minutes,” she worked on one of the first TV news stories on shaken baby syndrome and also helped produce a piece on the dangers of sulfites that led to new regulations regarding their use. At Brandeis, Esther was a founding member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program’s national board and served as its co-chair for many years. Upon her retirement from CBS in 2005, the network made a generous gift in her honor to help fund a professorship in women’s and gender studies. Esther served as a Brandeis trustee from 1986-91 and was on the Alumni Association Board of Directors during the 1980s. She was elected to the Board of Fellows in 1991. Esther generously supported the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and also made gifts to the Alumni Annual Fund. As a Brandeis student, she played on the women’s basketball team. She was a member of the 1955-56 team, which was the first in school history to finish a season with an undefeated record, and was enshrined in the Joseph Linsey Brandeis Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. She is survived by her brother, Joseph; his wife, Audrey; and two nieces, Alison Beth and Deborah Lynn.