Cover photo for Edwin Ostrow's Obituary
Edwin Ostrow Profile Photo
Edwin Ostrow

Edwin Ostrow

d. May 20, 2023

Edwin Ostrow was born on February 25, 1925 in the borough of Bronx, New York to Jacob and May (nee Levine) Ostrow. He was their youngest child and the only boy, often referred to as Eddie. He had two older sisters, Helen and Florence, who were a number of years older and who doted on him, as did other members of his family.


Ed attended the public schools of New York City as well as received a Hebrew education at the insistence of his Orthodox paternal grandfather. Encouraged by his music-loving mother, Ed excelled at violin lessons at the Bronx House Music School, permitting him to perform in chamber music groups and amateur symphony orchestras. At age 16, Ed graduated from Morris High School and then attended City College of New York/ Baruch College until being drafted into the army (World War II) in 1943 at the end of his sophomore year. He was an active member of a Jewish fraternity, an avid ping pong player, and loved tennis. He also excelled at his studies and was proudly the first in his family to attend college. Unbeknownst to many, Ed also had a beautiful singing voice, and during his teenage years, was an employed wedding singer. His claim to fame was “I Love You Truly.”

 

Edwin was admitted to the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at Boston University and then to the Military Intelligence Training Center and was advanced to the Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) for the 4th Infantry Division. His awards include the American Service Medal, the Good Conduct medal, and the WWII Victory medal. After being honorably discharged from the army, he was accepted into law school on the GI bill, and received his Juris Doctor (JD) from New York University Law School. For over four decades, Ed’s professional specialty was real estate law and he spent most of his illustrious career as Newman, Aronson, and Neumann’s litigation partner in charge of converting apartment buildings to cooperative and condominium ownership.

 

As aptly described by one of his fraternity brothers, Ed was “unconventional, intense, and sincere and was one of the most popular brothers among them.” One of the most valuable perks of fraternal brotherhood yielded Ed an introduction to the love of his life, Pearl Telvi. “With fire in her eyes,” they celebrated their first date on New Year’s Eve, were married on September 11, 1949, honeymooned in the Catskill Mountains, culminating in 54 years of wedded bliss. Within the years to come, they had two daughters, Betsy & Marcy. Pearl and Ed were avid readers, frequent theatergoers, and widely traversed the country visiting all of the national parks and many states to boot. Ed and Pearl’s international pursuits were extensive, traveling the globe, and embodying cultural accoutrements.

 

As Ed’s career progressed, they moved from the Bronx to Queens, and eventually landed in a potato farm, which became the new developments of Plainview (on Long Island) where he raised his family. With both girls academically accomplished (Betsy: Smith College (BS), University of Cincinnati Medical School (MD); Marcy: University of Pennsylvania (BA), Temple University School of Social Administration MSW) and with both daughters residing in the Philadelphia area, Edwin and Pearl readily joined them and their growing families after retirement by moving to Hershey’s Mill in West Chester, PA. While at Hershey’s Mill, Ed and Pearl became members of Temple Sholom in Broomall, PA which provided them with lifelong friendships and enriched their spiritual lives. Ed also spent time as a television commentator and producer for Channel 20, the Mill’s independent TV station. The move provided them with the joy of doting over their three precocious and adorable granddaughters (Kari, Nia, and Sarah). Their granddaughters who are in their own right accomplished young women (Kari: Reed College (BA), Oregon Health & Science University (MPH), University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (DMD); Nia:  Smith College (BA), Stanford University School of Theater and Performance Studies (PhD); Sarah: Pomona College (BA), Temple University James E Beasley School of Law (JD), both met and exceeded all familial expectations. Needless to say, their academic prowess brought much joy and pride to their grandparents.

 

On Christmas day in 2003, Ed unexpectedly lost Pearl, the love of his life. For his remaining nineteen years, he moved to Shannondell at Valley Forge Retirement Community, where he enthusiastically engaged in numerous activities which yielded him the title of “commissioner.” Included in those were the Jewish Interest Group, various book clubs, current events discussion group, and the talented table tennis team who represented Shannondell in various competitive events. As fate would have it, he functioned as a “pseudo” rabbi, presiding over Passover seders and participating in Hanukah celebrations until being officially displaced by Rabbi Alan Fuchs who is ironically co-officiating his graveside service along with Rabbi Eli Freedman. Ed characterized his many years at Shannondell as “living the life of Riley” with “everything under control.” His friendships flourished, his table tennis yielded championships, he became a poet, and he lived the coined phrase “the good life.” (See attached poem, A Good Life, by Edwin Ostrow). Although the final chapter of Ed’s life had many challenges along the way, he soldiered on until his peaceful passing into eternity leaving an inspiring legacy behind.

 

 

A GOOD LIFE

By Edwin Ostrow

 My life on earth will soon be over

Twas not a simple dance in the clover

But it was a good life with a loving wife

And two daughters with little strife

While the world around me became more partisan

I saw the good in king and artisan

Except for one tyrant beyond my countenance

He was corrupt and egotistical, not worth an ounce.

As the decades passed, more descendants were born

I am now a great grandfather with nothing to mourn

Not only that, I live in Shannondell.

What more can I ask?

 So I will just go on, devoid of task.

A good life is hard to come by, somehow it came my way

 For reasons I know not why, so I will just keep silent and pray

That nothing will interfere as my sun begins to set

I conclude my good life with a fate that I have not yet met.

 

Edwin is survived by:
Sylvia and Harold Bernholz (sister-in-law and brother-in-law),
Nephews: Steve Presser (Barb), Neil Bernholz (Julie) and Allan Pincus
Nieces: Pam Cohen (Mark); Gail Presser (deceased)
Daughters: Betsy Ostrow (Eugene Fleisher), Marcy Witherspoon (Anton)
Granddaughters: Kari Hexem Gordon (Adam), Sarah Hexem Hubbard (Lex) and Nia Ostrow Witherspoon
Great grandsons: Morris & Asher Gordon, Jay & Paul Hubbard plus one Hubbard on board and a host of extended family and friends.
Family and friends are invited to a graveside service to be held in his honor on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 1:00pm at Haym Salomon Memorial Park Cemetery, at 200 Moores Road, Fraser, PA. All attendees are invited to break bread with us following the service (details to follow). Shiva services will take place at 5pm at Shannondell at Valley Forge Retirement Community, 10000 Shannondell Drive, Audubon, PA in the Ashcroft Clubhouse Cardroom. Contributions can be made in his name to Baruch College or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

www.levinefuneral.com

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Haym Salomon Memorial Park

200 Moores Rd, Frazer, PA 19355

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