In Memory

Ilene Katz (Lowenthal)

Ilene Katz (Lowenthal)

(Obituary copied from

Ilene Katz Lowenthal died November 5th at her home at age 73 after dealing courageously with Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease.

She spent a full life combining her devotion to family, friends, the arts, swimming, reading and art and music education. She was the Executive Director of Tic-Toc and Project Impact, two organizations that brought arts and performing arts to elementary and middle schools in the Northern New Jersey region. She also was the de facto manager of her two book groups and her swim friends' monthly lunches.

Ilene was the Lowenthal family's social director, event organizer and glue, treating every in-law child and grandchild as her own in every possible sense, welcoming each new member as if always part of the clan. Her capacity to love was unmatched. Ilene was a great cook and used those skills to make family events into feasts for everyone. To her, food was love and a time to cherish and savor.

She was a graduate of Evanston Township High School, Washington University (BA 1968) and Bank Street College (Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education).

She is survived by Edward, her husband of almost 51 years, and by their children Jennifer Anto and Jared Lowenthal, her beloved grandchildren Matthew, Harlow, Harper and Caitlin and her in-law children Caroline and Christopher. She is also survived by her beloved sister Donna and Donna's husband David Howlett.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the Creutzfeldt Jakob Foundation or Parlance Chamber Concerts in Ridgewood, NJ.

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12/14/19 03:55 PM #11    

Robert Lindner

I'm getting old so my memories from Nichol's and ETHS have been slip-sliding away.

But I remember Ilene as a lovely person who I wish I had known better. 

So here is my poem of farewell.



Let the Midnight Special Shine

Its Everlovin’ Light on Thee (For Ilene)


In Evanston high school when we were young, on the Midnight Special, this song was sung

With other folk songs on WFMT, With Dylan on harmonica and we

Were singing along with those songs that I’m remembering, as I go back in time,

With Ilene at Nichol’s and Evanston and her life, not short, but too quickly gone.

Taken by a disease called CJD that I would know from the pathology

That was my expertise. It would have been an all too rapid end with a protein

That often seems to come out of nowhere and traps normal proteins. It’s very rare.

But when it strikes it’s sudden and the brain is taken to ride on that midnight train

That does not return. Suddenly it’s passed into a protein web that spreads too fast.

But we can say we were fortunate to be able to sing songs with someone who

Had that light that shined and will always be shining that special light on you and me.



12/14/19 04:48 PM #12    

Patrick Furlong

Like Bonnie (above) I remember Ilene from Ms. Gerlach's homeroom at Nichols as a very kind but quiet classmate. We didn't cross paths much at ETHS, but I'm not surprised to learn that she led a very giving and loving life. Sincere condolences to her family, who, I'm sure, miss her very much, but are thankful for the wonderful life she led.

12/15/19 11:45 AM #13    

Karen Kaz

Ilene's passing makes me so very sad. . She was such a bright light at Nichols and ETHS. She made me happy to be in her presence. I can't believe her star will no longer shine in the world; but It will shine in my memories of her. 

12/15/19 02:16 PM #14    

Kristine Masko (Fuller)

It is getting sadder each time a classmate passes.  I knew Ilene Katz like I knew so many in our class -- I would say hello in the halls but we did not hang out with each other socially.  There muct be much grief amongst her family and friends.  It sounds like she had an active life, but too short a life.  Deepest condolences.

12/15/19 05:35 PM #15    

Ruth Gross

 Like those who have already commented, I find the news of Ilene's death terribly sad. Although we weren't close in high school, we ran in some of the same circles and shared a class or two.  She died of a very mean disease that no one should have to suffer. My deepest sympathy to her family and close friends. Our ETHS '64 circle grows tighter.

12/16/19 10:21 AM #16    

Arthur Hallstrom

Like Bonnie and Patrick, I remember Ilene from Ms. Gerlach's homeroom at Nichols as a very kind but quiet classmate. I think we were in a few classes at ETHS. I offer my sincere condolences to her family and friends. 

12/16/19 06:35 PM #17    

Jean Landberg (Riordan)

Although I knew about Ilene's diagnosis, I feel great sadness at her actual passing.  Very simply said, she was  a lovely, lovely person.  To think of the joy she broought to so many, is heartwarming. She was fun, bright and witty.  So many will miss her; so many loved her. 

12/16/19 10:37 PM #18    

Susan Spiegel (Pastin)

Here's the link to make a donation in Ilene's memory - or to buy something for the holidays from their on-line store:



12/20/19 11:19 AM #19    

Don Hall

As Bonnie, Robert, Patrick and Arthur have recounted and as her truly warm memorializing obituary attests, Ilene was a treasure in life and a beautiful soul to be remembered.  It was a couple of reunions ago where Ilene and I remininced about those Nichols School days in the stern Ms. Gerlach's homeroom...we may have even danced to the memory given that we both survived.  That she flourished is no surprise and I am graced by having known her.  Bless her and her family and the cherished memories she evokes.

12/26/19 01:37 AM #20    

Patricia (Fatima) Lassar

Dear Ilene,
Thank you for introducing me to the music of Bob Dylan. Do you remember playing his first album for me at your house? I fell in love! I probably read you the letter I received in Feb. 1964 from the Stanford freshman I was dating. He had just seen Dylan for the first time and described how he felt.. You may have known he took me to see Dylan at Ravinia that summer. But I never got to tell you that I found that letter and thought he should have it. We hadn't been in touch since 1965 but 2 years ago I located him in Portland and returned it to him in person.

I will never forget you.

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