Born and raised in New York City, an only child, she graduated from Freeport High School on Long Island and then from Barnard College (Columbia University) in 1951, having majored in political science (international relations). She earned her Master's in Social Work from the Columbia School of Social Work in 1956 while working at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. She married Ivan Gendzel, M.D., on May 4, 1957. They relocated to San Francisco in 1958 and then lived on the Peninsula and in Oakland before moving to Palo Alto in 1962. Their son, Glen, and daughter, Amy, were raised and schooled there. Active in the PTA, the 4H and school enrichment programs, she later taught Oriental Brush Painting at Avenidas in Palo Alto for 30 years and was an active volunteer with the United Nations Association, serving on the board and helping to set up the Library and Information Center. She and Ivan traveled extensively (frequently with their young adult children) during the 1980s and 1990s. Because of increasing heart problems, she was scheduled for heart surgery in August, but died suddenly at home.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Ivan Gendzel of Cupertino; son Glen Gendzel, his wife, Colleen Hamilton, and their children (Joelle and Louis) of San Jose; daughter Amy Taylor, her husband John Taylor and their children (Grace and Jackson) of Everton, England (UK); sister-in-law Sue Ezekiel, her husband George Ezekiel of Oakland, their two sons (Dan & Jack) and their families. She was an artist and musician who loved teaching and sharing these interests with her students and fans.
A memorial service was held on Aug. 4 in Cupertino.
Please do not send flowers. However, if you wish to make a donation in her memory, consider Avenidas or the United Nations Association - Midpeninsula Chapter (where she volunteered for many years).