Miriam Haagens Wexler, 100, passed away on April 29, 2018. The eldest child of Gerard E. Haagens and Johanna Blok Haagens, she was born in The Hague, Netherlands, on August 24, 1917. In December 1939, months before the Nazi invasion, she immigrated to the United States with her family. On June 28, 1942, she married Jacob Klein Wexler of Spring Valley. They had three children: David Niels, Steven Daniel, and Jessica Sarah Tomb.
She is survived by her sister Deborah Winant, brother Daniel, children David and Jessica, daughters-in-law, Susan Fleming Holm, and Maria Guadalupe Wexler, grandson Benjamin Darrow Creed and granddaughter-in-law Christine Tu Lin, as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jacob, her son Steven, and her brother Robert (Ruben). She was also predeceased by Niels Alsted of Denmark, her partner in later years, and to whom she had been secretly affianced prior to World War II.
Miriam studied international law in the Netherlands and in the US earned masters degrees in Sociology and Library Science. She had a long career as a school librarian and a teacher, initially in New Jersey, and subsequently at the Elmwood Elementary School, Monsey New York, part of the East Ramapo Central School District. In 1972, with her school principal, Lillian Glogau, she co-authored "Developing a Successful Elementary School Media Center" which modeled school libraries as resource centers, presciently attuned to the changing functions of libraries and foreshadowing the internet era. Her legacy as a librarian is underscored by former students who contacted her throughout retirement and attested to their durable readership cultivated by her in-depth guidance.
She was a serious perennial flower gardener and an active member of the Nyack Garden Club, participating in its community projects. She called her garden “Cornuscopia” for its many dogwood trees. A lover of classical music, she served as an officer in Rockland County’s Symphony Orchestra and frequently attended opera. Miriam was a founding member of the Historical Society of the Nyacks and a loyal supporter. Continuing a family tradition she wrote poems for all occasions.
For family, friends and neighbors who knew her, a memorial gathering will be held at the Nyack Library, Sunday, July 1st. Doors open at 11 a.m. Program begins at 11:30 a.m. RSVP by June 22nd to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memorial donations are welcome: Friends of the Nyack Library, 59 South Broadway; or Historical Society of the Nyacks, P.O. Box 850, Nyack, NY 10960.