Zelda Oser Zelinsky

Zelda Oser Zelinsky passed away on November 28, 2015, at the age of 91. Her daughter, Mara Sachs, wrote the following piece about her mother: “My mother was born in Philadelphia in 1924. In 1930 she moved with her family to Forest Hills, New York, where she started school in the newly opened PS 144. After graduating from the High School of Music and Art, she attended Queens College for two years, and then went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She married my father, Daniel Zelinsky, in 1945, and they moved Evanston, Illinois, where he had been appointed to the mathematics faculty of Northwestern University.

She enrolled in the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois where she studied medical illustration. They had three children, myself and my two brothers, Paul and David. My mother worked as a medical illustrator for a few years and then focused on being a mother until we were grown, at which point she resumed her career in medical illustration.
No matter what medium she used, my mother was a consummate visual artist. She was a superb photographer. She loved to sketch and paint, delighting friends and family with portraits of themselves. She created visual beauty in every part of her environment: her home in Wilmette, which was designed by the architect Edward Humrich; even her wonderful cooking was artistically presented.
My mother also loved music, and her house was full of it — classical music playing on the radio, her children practicing instruments, and frequent evenings of string quartets in which my father was the first violinist.
During her last few years she suffered increasingly from dementia. In 2010 my parents moved to an independent living apartment in the Washington, D.C. area, near one of my brothers. In September 2015 my father passed away, a week short of their 70th wedding anniversary. My mother passed away peacefully in her sleep just ten weeks later, on November 28, 2015, at the age of 91.”