Obituaries


Irene Edelson Marshall
Irene Claire (Edelson) Robinson Marshall of Bloomfield, CT, formerly of West Hartford and Simsbury, CT, died Monday, March 30, 2020, at the age of 91. She was the wife of Daniel Marshall, M.D. and the widow of David Robinson, M.D. Born in Manhattan on August 14, 1928, and raised in the Bronx, Irene was always a bona fide New Yorker despite spending the majority of her lifetime in the greater Hartford area.

Her father, the late Joseph Edelson, was a manufacturer and bon vivant, earning himself the nickname "Broadway Joe." He was a self-taught intellectual who read all eleven volumes of The Story of Civilization by Will Durant and urged his daughter to do the same. Together they devoured all 10,000+ pages of the distinguished tome. Irene's mother, the late Pauline (Blum) Zipperman, was a true pioneer and trailblazer. She danced in Billy Rose's chorus line, drove an ambulance for the Red Cross during World War II, and co-founded the German American Trading Company in the 1940s, becoming one of the first female stockbrokers in the United States. It was from Pauline, a woman decidedly ahead of her time, that Irene inherited her extreme savviness and great beauty. Irene was also the stepdaughter of Max Zipperman, an owner of several iconic NYC movie houses, including The Little Carnegie, The Thalia and The Heights. The two shared a love of cinema and were extremely close. Mr. Zipperman was always quick to note that while very taken with his wife Pauline upon first seeing her at a dance in the Catskills, it was in fact meeting her radiant daughter that ultimately clinched the deal.

Irene attended high school at the prestigious Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, VA, followed by a stint at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. Eager to return home to New York, she subsequently transferred to Fordham University, where she would do homework on the subway by day and dance at legendary haunts like the Copacabana and Quo Vadis by night. She saw every Broadway show twice and was even offered a leading role in the Hollywood film, Mister Roberts, starring Henry Fonda, James Cagney, and Jack Lemmon. Not wanting to leave her family or New York, she turned down the part.

It was in the midst of these delightful escapades that she met her first husband, Dr. David Robinson, through mutual friends one fated evening at the Algonquin Hotel. They married June 19, 1949 at the Waldorf Astoria and moved up to Hartford shortly thereafter so David could begin his OB/GYN practice in his own hometown. Irene would remain in the area for the rest of her life and it was there that she and David raised their only child, Maggie. In 1977, David suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, leaving Irene a bereft young widow at the age of 48. Heartbroken, but resilient, she was blessed to find love again in her second husband, Dr. Daniel Marshall. He stated that when they met years before, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. They married March 14, 1981 and had just recently celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary.

In addition to being an unwaveringly devoted wife, mother and grandmother, Irene was a longtime member of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford and the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, as well as a Lion of Judah. She was a member of the Women's Auxiliary of Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford and volunteer at the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in Hartford, helping to prepare meals for those in need as recently as last month. Always an avid lover of opera, Irene was a lifetime member of the CT Opera Guild and season ticket subscriber for many decades. Tosca, Aida, La Boheme and Madame Butterfly were among her favorites. Her philanthropic efforts extended to the Boys' and Girls' Towns of Italy, for whom she actively fundraised. Irene belonged to the Midas Touch Investment Club and was also a longtime member of Tumble Brook Country Club, where she enjoyed playing tennis. She even took a lesson with the iconic Don Budge, who marveled that she "looked as good on the court as she did in a skirt."

She traveled the world and always enjoyed a good cruise. Mexico was a constant favorite as were Morocco and Greece. She once snuck home a small piece of the Parthenon. When she visited Bangkok and saw its magnificent Royal Palace, she remarked that she now understood, "why Anna never wanted to leave Siam." Irene was the family matriarch and consummate hostess throwing engagement parties, showers, Passover seders and more in her impeccably kept homes. She was always dressed to the nines and ready with a wink or kind word for anyone--a class act all the way and simply a legendary lady. Magical, sparkling, and vital. She was loved by all whom she met.

Along with her husband, Dr. Daniel Marshall, Irene leaves her daughter, Maggie Sandberg, and her partner, Robert Schatz, of West Hartford, CT; her granddaughter, Dana (Sandberg) Raines, and her husband, David Raines, of New York, NY; her grandson, Gregory Sandberg, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL; her stepson, Dr. John Marshall, his son, Aaron Marshall, and his mother, Carolyn Perkins, of Charlotte, NC; her stepson, Richard Marshall, his wife, Susan Marshall, and their children, Charles and Anna Rose Marshall, of Lavallette, NJ; her nephew, Richard Robinson, and his wife, Anndee Robinson, of West Hartford, CT; her nieces, Iris (Robinson) White and Allyn (Robinson) Friedman, of Aurora, OH; her grandniece, Amy (Robinson) Federman, her husband, Eric Federman, and their children, Jacob and Samuel Federman, of West Harrison, NY; her grandniece, Julie (Robinson) Levy, her husband, Jerry Levy, and their children, Arielle and Talia Levy, of Purchase, NY; and her cousin, Karen Pokross, of Westford, MA.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, private funeral services will be held on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at the Beth Israel Cemetery in Avon, CT with Cantor Stephanie Kupfer officiating. The family looks forward to honoring Irene once it is safe to do so and will be announcing additional arrangements in due course. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Women's Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford at https://www.jewishhartford.org/tributes or to Congregation Beth Israel at https://cbict.org/support/. Arrangements are entrusted to the Weinstein Mortuary of Hartford, CT. For further information or to sign the guest book for Irene, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com/funerals.cfm.

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