Edith Vogel Dworkin
March 17, 1916 ~ December 13, 2011
Former Tracey School Principal
Edith Vogel Dworkin, 95, died December 13, 2011 at Norwalk Hospital. She was the wife of the late Morris Dworkin.
She was born March 17th, 1916 in Norwalk, to the late Betty Jacobson Vogel and Morris Vogel. She attended Norwalk public schools, graduating from Norwalk High School class of 1932 at the age of 16. She graduated from Danbury State Normal School in 1935 at age 19. She holds B.E. degrees from Central Connecticut, a Masters in Supervision and Administration from Columbia University and a Sixth Year Professional Diploma from New York University. She never stopped learning and throughout her life she enjoyed taking classes about new trends in education.
She was honored by the Norwalk High School Alumni Association by being named to the first ever Teachers Honor Roll in 2000. Her name is etched on a permanent plaque in the high school lobby.
Miss Vogel, as she was known professionally, served the educational system of Norwalk for 47 years. She began her teaching career in 1935 at the old two room Brookside School. She taught first through sixth grades at Concord, Washington, Roosevelt and Jefferson School. She retired in 1982 after 33 years as principal of Tracey School. She became so synonymous with Tracey School that she was often introduced as “Miss Tracey.”
Known for her warmth and discipline, she developed a rapport with her students that endeared her to thousands of pupils and their families, which continues to exist today. Everywhere she went in Norwalk; she would be stopped and hugged by so many whose lives she touched in some way.
“It’s better to build children than to repair men” was her maxim, which she pursued throughout her teaching career. Her former students include Police Chief Harry Rilling, former Norwalk mayor William Collins, retired chief justice Robert J. Callahan, businessman Stanley Seligson and NBA basketball all-star Calvin Murphy.
She was politically active in teacher activities, helping to establish equal contracts for Norwalk teachers in the 1940’s. At that time elementary teachers were paid less than male secondary teachers. She was an active member of the National Education Association, the Norwalk Teachers Association, the Connecticut Education Association, and the Fairfield County Retired Teachers Association. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary association for distinguished educators.
She was a lifetime member of the American Association of University Women, Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum, and Friends of the Norwalk Library. In 1994 she was selected and honored by Celebrate Women for her many contributions to the social, political and educational life of the community.
She served Norwalk as a member of the Human Relations Committee for six years, the Norwalk Library Addition Committee, the Greater Norwalk Community Council and as moderator in many Norwalk elections. After her retirement she was a volunteer for many years for Honeyhill Care Center, the American Red Cross, the Norwalk Museum and the Norwalk Board of Education’s work/study program.
She is survived by her brother Stanley Vogel, the former Chairman of the English Department of Suffolk University in Boston MA. She was predeceased by sisters Sylvia Vogel Halpern and Dr. Florence Vogel Shankman and a niece Marcia Halpern Ives.
She is also survived by her daughter Jeanne Dworkin Schwartz and her husband Stephen Schwartz of Charleston, South Carolina. Even though her daughter lived a great distance away she made sure she spent at least a week or more each month with her mother. She leaves behind many loving nieces and nephews including Susan Semchuk (Myron), who she often referred to as my other daughter, Martin Shankman, Robert Shankman, Arthur Halpern, and Dr. Doreen Rockstrom. Great nieces and nephews include Leah Shankman Aizen (Ron), Dr. Stewart Shankman (Alexandra), Vincent Ives Jr, Marianne Semchuk and Anne Marie Semchuk. There are also many great – great nieces and nephews as well as a host of cousins and dear friends.
The funeral will be held on Friday December 16 at 11:00 AM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue in Norwalk. Burial will follow at Independent Hebrew Society on Richards Avenue. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the American Heart Association or to a charity of your choice.