UHC Secretary Norma Collins wrote this column for the October 2016 edition of Hadashot.
The three ladies we are remembering this month…
Carolyn Gurman… Carolyn was truly an inspiration to everyone and always willing to help where needed. She sparkled when she smiled. When there were discussions, she joined in with lively and intelligent input. She was gracious, calm and kind. Carolyn was a doer, a tireless worker and organizer. She was an administrative assistant to the Education Department, Division of Teaching at Indiana State University. She was adored by her family and friends and very active in the community. She was a member of United Hebrew Congregation and served on the board as secretary and served as Sisterhood treasurer. She was a member of the Women’s Department Club, National Council of Jewish Women and League of Women Voters and served at the Swope Museum and Visiting Nurse Association, just to name a few of her affiliations.
When it came to special occasions, Carolyn never wanted to miss them. On one occasion, I had already left the Temple office and she tracked me down via a relative to make sure I received her gift. Carolyn’s and Charlie’s home was always open to visitors. Even in their later years, when they danced at a wedding they inspired admiration. Her family turned to her for advice, because she was able to see the big picture, and to help find the best course of action.
Rona Schultz… Rona was born in Chicago, met Robert on a blind date and moved to Terre Haute in 1942. She loved golf, a passion she shared with Robert. She also enjoyed playing bridge and solitaire and was interested in the arts and antiques.
Rona always said she was the luckiest woman because she had a husband she adored and who put her on a pedestal. During Robert’s prolonged illness, she continued the devotion she had always shown him. She worked hard to keep her family strong and united, showing that innate strength. She loved family gatherings and wanted everyone present. She was a good cook, and her blond brownies and spinach dip were wonderful. Her refrigerator was always full and guests felt welcome in her home.
Rona was charitable and felt compelled to donate to every cause when asked. She appreciated a good joke and loved a challenge. She faced the difficult years of her life with great courage.
Pearl Stern… Pearl was born in Plymouth, Wis., the last child of a large family. She met Alex Stern at a fraternity dance at the University of Wisconsin. Soon they married. They had a son, Stanley, and daughter, Anna May. Alex worked for Aldens Department Stores, moving from one outlet to another, but finally settled in Terre Haute. Pearl was very active in the Jewish community. She was one of the founders of Clothes Closet, collecting clothing for schoolchildren who didn’t have enough, and distributing it through the schools. Women like Pearl, whose husbands were merchants, tapped them for contributions. Pearl’s basement was likely to be full of piles of children’s coats and underwear.
Pearl loved to cook, and she was good at it. Descriptions of her cooking make her sound like the queen of cholesterol — which is very Jewish. She used large amounts of butter, eggs and sour cream. She made chicken fat sandwiches. She also made great chopped liver because her family liked it, but she could never bring herself to taste it. She entertained guests frequently and usually they would sit at the table two to three hours visiting. If someone was mourning, Pearl would likely be the first to visit, comfort and bring along a cake or casserole.