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Obituary: Irene V. Galdston

Irene V. Galdston

Irene V. Galdston died suddenly on Dec. 29, 2009 at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She was 93, in excellent physical and mental health and remained vital to the end. She resided at Lasell Village in Auburn, MA, after moving there in 2007 from her home in Lake Success, where she had lived for more than 50 years.

She was the widow of Morton Galdston, a physician, who died in 2003. She is survived by her children Elsa Galdston of Boston, Kenneth Galdston of Newton and Philip Galdston of New York City; her daughters-in-law, Janet Saglio of Newton and Nancy Tarshis Galdston of New York City; and her grandchildren, Jesse Galdston of Chicago, Molly Galdston of Cambridge and Daniel Galdston-Saglio of Newton; her brother, Irving Miller of Glen Cove; her sister-in-law,Vera Simms, of East Hampton, NY; and more than 100 nieces, nephews, and great and great-great nieces and nephews.

Irene Vivian Miller was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan on Sept. 7, 1916. Her parents, Joseph and Essie (née Platt), Miller, moved with her and her younger brother, Irving, to the east Bronx in the early 1920s. Her mother died of a heart condition in July 1926. Her father remarried a few years later, and her half-brother, Eugene, was born in 1930. She was deeply impacted by Eugene’s tragic death in a U.S. Navy accident in 1961.

She graduated from Evander Childs High School at 16 and Hunter College at 19, earning a B.S. in biology. Following graduate study in social work, she worked in that field until the onset of WWII.

She married in August 1941. While Dr. Galdston became immersed in a career at New York University and Bellevue Hospital combining pulmonary research with teaching and private practice, Mrs. Galdston focused on editing his scientific publications, managing his clinical work and his practice, and her first love, child-rearing.

They settled in Kew Gardens Hills and moved to Great Neck in 1956. She volunteered for many school-based and civic efforts in Great Neck. Once her children were grown she worked as a literary editor at Doubleday, and, subsequently, wrote numerous short stories and poems. Several of her poems were published in the New York Times.

Mrs. Galdston remained active in her Lake Success neighborhood until she relocated to Newton in 2007 to be closer to her youngest grandchild.

A celebration of Mrs. Galdston’s life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 12:45 pm at the New York International American Youth Hostel, 891 Amsterdam Ave., New York (at 103rd St,). In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Asperger’s Association of New England ( or the InterValley Project (1075 Washington Street, West Newton, MA 02465 or