Castleton, New York
Illona Goldfarb, 80, left us on August 30, 2020. One of Illona’s many gifts was her ability to welcome anyone into her home and make them feel part of the family. When her children brought home friends throughout their lives, they were immediately brought to the kitchen for a lesson in latkes or whatever was the meal of the day followed by an invitation to share a drink (tequila was her choice). All were welcome at the holiday table.
Illona grew up in the Pelham Parkway neighborhood of the Bronx with her brother, Richard who predeceased her. In her twenties, she was the managing secretary for the anesthesiology department at NYU Medical Center, when she was introduced on a blind date to Barry. Their love affair became legitimate in 1965 and they soon moved out to Massapequa Park where they raised 3 children. Illona was an active and loving mother, she was a Bluebird Leader, and volunteered for the local soccer clubs, including gaining recognition with the New York Arrows professional mens indoor soccer team.
Upon retirement, she and her beloved, Barry built a home designed specifically for entertaining, with plenty of spare bedrooms and a kitchen meant for cooking. She was known for throwing amazing parties when her and her daughter Alisa would cater themselves for 50 or more people. Most famous was her annual Latkefest. Though meant to be a winter holiday get together for all, everyone came for Illona’s potato latkes which she grated by hand (no exceptions). Lucky guests would wait eagerly for them fresh out of the pan or be one of the few chosen to grate the potatoes with her.
Illona is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 55 years, Barry and her three children, Howard, his spouse Isadora, Shari and her spouse Richard, and Alisa and her partner Theodore. She is also survived by four delightful grandchildren: Seth, Lilith, Sebastian, and Iris whom she always showered generously with love and kisses.
Friends on Long Island may visit with family Wednesday, September 2 from 4 pm - 8 pm or Thursday, September 3 from 2 pm - 8 pm at 146 8th Ave., Kings Park, NY 11754
Friends in the Capital Region may visit with family on Saturday, September 5 from 2-6 pm at 22 Crimson Court, Castleton, NY 12033.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Long Island Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation in Illona’s name.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Illona (Wein) Goldfarb, please visit our floral store.