Personal Tribute

Alice Kreiman was a stalwart Advocate for Evanston (IL) Public Schools, the mother of school mates of mine, a woman who fought the good fight and was of great help to me in putting together a public/academic forum on the Evanston Schools.

TJ

Civic leader Alice Kreiman, 71

February 22, 2007
Alice Kreiman, a longtime resident of Evanston, died Jan. 31 at her home. She was 71.

She was born May 14, 1935, in Newark, N.J.

According to her family, Ms. Kreiman was a friend, counselor, committee member, board member, and recruiter and advocate — but foremost a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She is survived by her husband, Jerry; son David (Kate); daughters Deborah (Marvin) Talsky and Lisa Gendel; and grandchildren, Jessie, Charlie and Sydney Kreiman, Naomi Talsky, and Taylor and Jordyn Gendel.

“She had many connections and outside commitments, yet we never had to compete — family always came first,” relatives said in a statement. “Each one of us was touched by her in a special and unique way. She was an amazing wife, mother and grandmother, and was always the center of our lives.”

Ms. Kreiman’s involvement in the civic life of Evanston centered on its children, because, she said, “Children have always been the core of my heart.”

She served on the boards of the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund, the Evanston Art Center, Housing Options for the Mentally Ill in Evanston, the McGaw YMCA, the Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association and Invest.

Ms. Kreiman became involved in the 1970 election for the Evanston-Skokie District 65 School Board, which became a referendum on then-Superintendent Gregory Coffin, who was hired to redesign Evanston schools as the city became the first northern city to voluntarily desegregate its public schools.

She was motivated by this experience to run successfully for the District 65 School Board; she served as its president for three years.

Chuck Staley, who served with Ms. Kreiman on the District 65 Board, remembered her as a “great board president. Not only did she have the intelligence, she had compassion and the knowledge of the intricacies and nuances of Evanston to make certain that common sense had a reasonable chance of prevailing. She was one of the important reasons that Evanston is such a wonderful place to live.”

Evanston Mayor Lorraine H. Morton said Kreiman’s death “is a great loss to the community.”

After her tenure at District 65, Ms. Kreiman continued her advocacy for education and outreach by supporting many School Board candidates, advising them on issues and campaign strategy.

Ms. Kreiman also served on the board of the Evanston Art Center. She chaired and ran its chief fund-raising event, the two-week-long holiday market, for more than 17 years.

Not above rolling up her sleeves and working in the trenches, Ms. Kreiman loved her volunteer work in the shoe room at the Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association, which provides clothing for school children who need it.

In addition, Ms. Kreiman was a founding board member of the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to students who do not take the direct path from high school to college.

Ms. Kreiman was buried in a private graveside ceremony at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie and remembered at a service on Feb. 2 at Temple Beth Israel in Skokie.

Memorial contributions may be made to Housing Options, 1132 Florence Ave., Evanston IL 60202; the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 0944, Evanston IL 60204; or the Evanston Art Center, 2603 Sheridan Road, Evanston IL 60201.

Arrangements were handled by Chicago Jewish Funerals in Buffalo Grove.

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