Nancy Shemitz Baratz-Culkin

Nancy Shemitz Baratz-Culkin, of Sarasota FL, Hamden CT, and Wellfleet MA left this life on April 10, 2011 after suffering from Alzherimer’s disease for over a decade. Born September 23, 1931, Nancy graduated Wheaton College with a B.S. in Biology. When her children were in their early teens, she returned to school and earned a Master’s in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University. Her thesis – a Bibliographic Study of Ornathological Literature encompassed her lively passion for bird-watching. She married Merrill A. Baratz, a pediatrician with a private practice in New Haven who later joined the Yale Health Plan until his untimely death in 1985. She leaves behind three children: Steven Baratz of San Francisco, CA, Thomas Baratz of Newton, MA, Susan Grimes and granddaughter Mayah of East Bridgewater, MA, as well as her brother Norman Shemitz of New Haven and Guilford, CT. In 1990, she married her second love, Donald Culkin of Sarasota FL. They were wonderful companions for each other, split their time between Florida and Cape Cod, and traveled widely to Antarctica, the Galápagos Islands, India, Australia, and other destinations. Donald was devoted to her, especially during her progressive decline. He brightened her day, every day, and never failed to find the sparks of her personality that shone through. Thanks also to the wonderful staff of the Glenridge Memory Care Unit in Sarasota. A working mother at a time before it was fashionable or necessary, Nancy enjoyed her role as a Reference Librarian at Yale’s Kline Science Library and later, the Yale Medical Library. In a pre-Internet world, she became a computer expert, providing bibliographic searches of scientific literature for the Yale community. She loved the out-of-doors, particularly Cape Cod, and spending time in her summer home in Wellfleet, MA, with loved ones and friends. Those who knew her will never forget her delightful laugh, her sense of humor, her love of singing and music, and her irrepressible zest and individuality.

A memorial service will be held in New Haven, CT on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 1pm in the Mishkan Israel Cemetery Chapel – corner of Whalley Ave. and Jewell Streets. A nearby luncheon reception will follow. For further information, please contact Steven Baratz: (415) 378-2458. To honor her and cultivate future generations of bird-watching naturalists, we have established an educational camp scholarship fund in her memory. Please give generously so this can be created in perpetuity: Massachusetts Audubon
Society (www.massaudubon.org), 208 South Great Rd.,
Lincoln, MA  01773,
attn: Nora Frank, for Nancy Baratz-Culkin Memorial Fund.


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1 Comment

  1. Majlen Helenius said,

    05.05.11 at 1:12 pm

    Nancy’s delightful laugh and her sense of humor made my day in the offfice at Yale Medical Library. Thank you Nancy I often think about that happy time.

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