Recent Passings:

Maria Pechukas (PA ’84) passed away on February 1, 2017. She was the granddaughter of Anthony M. Gisolfi, who taught Italian for many years at Music & Art, and sister of Fiona Pechukas (LaG ’91, who also passed away). She was an outstanding actress, earning the Ruth Klinger Award in her graduating class of 1984 at Performing Arts. She went on to earn her MFA in the drama program at Marymount Manhattan where she again won top acting awards. Her work in drama continued, with leading roles in Wellfleet, MA summer theater WHAT (Blithe Spirit), West Side Repertory Theater in NY (School for Wives), and Baltimore theater (All My Sons).
An Ecumenical service will be held for Maria Pechukas on Saturday, February 11th at 3pm at Old First Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn, 729 Carroll Street at Seventh Avenue.



Byron-DobellByron Dobell, an editor at Time-Life, Esquire and New York magazine who played a pivotal role in the careers of Tom Wolfe, Mario Puzo and other writers, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 89.

Extraordinarily talented, creative and full of life. Born in the Bronx on May 30, 1927, he died at his home in Manhattan on January 21, 2017, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth Dobell and his grandson Adam Dobell Wiener. A memorial will be held at a future date. Donations in his memory may be made to Alumni and Friends of LaGuardia High School (for The Byron Dobell Art Fund), 100 Amsterdam Ave., Room 853, New York, NY 10023, or The New York Society Library, 53 East 79th St., New York, NY 10075.

Please read the full obituary here.

Painter, sculptor, author and satirist Charles Bragg (M&A ’49) passed away on January 9, 2017 at the age of 85. Bragg was born in 1931 in St. Louis to two Vaudeville performers, whom he toured with during his young life. In 1949 Bragg graduated from New York’s High School of Music and Art in Harlem. He later studied at the Art Students League in New York City before moving to Los Angeles.
Bragg held numerous jobs, including cab driver, factory worker and stand-up comedian, before pursuing art. When he arrived in California he painted for the wealthy and gave lessons — fueling the satirical outlook that later emerged in his artwork.
In the early 1960s, Bragg exhibited his works, exposing audiences to biting caricatures that poked fun at the military, clergy, and other professions. During the 1970s, Bragg began depicting more universal themes, but still poked fun at the mentality of his subjects….[read more]

Stacy Williams, M&A ’83, passed away on January 8, 2017.

Doris Doris S. Baum (M&A ’48, art major), aged 85, passed away December 29, 2016 at Rhode Island Hospital. A resident of Bristol, Doris was born in Vienna, Austria. She was a graduate of Skidmore College and lived for many years in New York City. An accomplished photographer, artist and singer, Doris will be missed by family and friends who live in every corner of the world. Doris was predeceased by her husband Gerd. Donations in her memory may be made to UJA Federation of New York/Holocaust Survivors Fund.

Dr. Lionel Chernoff passed away on December 12, 2016. He taught music history and composition at LaGuardia until retiring in 1991.

Sylvia Drood-Pearlman’s son Alan Pearlman called to share with us that his mother had passed away. She studied art at Music & Art, went on to study at Pratt, Fairleigh Dickenson University, and NYU, and practiced as an interior designer.

James NoonanIt is with great sadness that we share the news of James Noonan’s passing in early December 2016.





elsi-levyElsi Levy (M&A ’42) was a musician, philanthropist, volunteer extraordinaire. She died at home on October 23, 2016 at the age of 91. Born in Astoria, Queens to Anna and Louis Kovacs. Beloved wife of 60 years to the late Leon Levy of Jamaica Estates and Manhattan. Proud graduate of the High School of Music & Art, and Queens College. Performed in piano recitals from the age of six, and became a piano accompanist to international singers performing throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, and Brazil. Opened her home to many events, organizations and musicians. She had a zest for life and doing kind deeds; she was loved by and inspired all who had the fortune of knowing her. …[read more]

On November 26, 2016, Gail Botzman Robinson, M&A, 1955, passed away leaving her husband of 58 years, Gerald Robinson; daughters & sons in law Randi & Ronald Schramm, Bonnie & Mark Cimring; brother Harvey Botzman; five grand children Alex, Jordan, Zachary, Jonathan, and Annyia. Gail was a devoted college educator who spent her professional life teaching and mentoring students to become superb teachers. She was a dedicated member of Larchmont Temple for over 40 years.