Barbara B. Elkin

Barbara B. Elkin, 92, of Hamden, passed away September 19, 2015. She was the beloved mother of Deborah Elkin of New Haven and Ruth Elkin of Portland, Maine, grandmother of David Elkin-Ginnetti, and aunt of nephews and nieces Malcolm Bersohn (Shelley Shapiro), David Bersohn, Diana Bersohn, Rina Bersohn, and Leora Bersohn (James Rogers). She was predeceased by her husband, David Elkin, and her two brothers, Richard Bersohn (survived by Nehama Bersohn) and Malcolm Bersohn (survived by JoAnne Bersohn). She grew up in Manhattan, loved its dance and music, and believed in government as a force for good. After graduating from Radcliffe College magna cum laude with an economics degree, she worked in the State Department during World War II, then became an intern in the young United Nations, writing summaries for news reports of the speeches of international leaders as they spoke. She worked as a community health educator for the New York City Health Department, volunteered for Youth Employment Services in Great Neck and for the League of Women Voters. After the death of her beloved husband in 1978, she went to Brooklyn Law School at age 56. She became a mediator. Later she worked as an attorney for the City of New York, first protecting abused and neglected children and then working on adoptions. When she retired she took on several difficult pro bono cases, including one involving political asylum. For the last seven years she has lived in CT, most recently in Whitney Center, to be closer to her daughters. She was a kind, generous, conscientious, independent woman of integrity, grace, and dignity, who loved to learn, and felt best when she felt useful. Burial was in Old Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY. Shiva will be at Debbie and David’s, Thursday and Friday, 2 to 8 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders at P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030, or doctorswithoutborders.org.

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1 Comment

  1. Marlene Schiffman said,

    09.30.15 at 7:42 pm

    I remember Cousin Barbara as a warm and vivacious hostess at her home in Great Neck. She welcomed me into the family when I married Larry. I was very enlightened to hear about her professional accomplishments in the obituary. May the family find comfort.
    Marlene Schiffman