Barbara Zwynenburg

Obituary of Barbara Zwynenburg

Barbara Jewell Zwynenburg, age 85 from West Nyack, passed away peacefully at home on February 2, 2018 from complications from Alzheimers. Born in Englewood, NJ in 1932, she grew up in Leonia, NJ. After graduating from Bucknell University she moved to NYC and received a Master's Degree from Columbia University. An avid reader and historian she was a school teacher for over 40 years. Married to John Zwynenburg for 59 years, an "IBMer" , they moved a bunch of times and she taught school in Tenafly, NJ, Potsdam, NY, Poughkeepsie NY, Yorktown NY, and Cary NC. While teaching in North Carolina in the mid 1960s she participated in the historical initiative of Lyndon Johnson and Sargent Shriver's "War on Poverty" where she taught basic reading and writing to impoverished youths in the segregated South. She ended her teaching career at South Orangetown, NY when she retired in 1989. Her favorite time of the day was when she would cozy up with a book or write letters to friends and family. Born during the depression she prided herself on being thrifty and civic minded. She wanted her students to become good citizens and she worked diligently as an educator. Known for her year-end Christmas card letter she was delighted to share her travels, experiences, and particularly her opinions with all of her many friends; whether they asked or not. She was an active member of the Clarkstown Reformed Church, Daughters of the American Revolution, Rockland Historical Society, and Compassionate Friends of Rockland. She was a frequent face at Clarkstown Town meetings and the community leaders knew they were in for a good debate when Barbara attended. On a bigger stage she was a part time political activist and tirelessly advocated on the national level for justice for victims of terrorism and enhanced aviation security. Her voice and others were heard when President George Bush signed into law the "Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990". Barbara believed in people, and most importantly, in their value. In a rare and gifted way, Barbara celebrated her life in good times and in bad times with her spirited and enduring energy. Barbara was predeceased by her son Mark who died in 1988. She is survived by her husband John of West Nyack, NY, her son Paul Zwynenburg and his wife Monica from Fairfield, CT and her two grandsons, Luke and Cole.

Visiting hours will be at Joseph W Sorce Funeral Home, 728 West Nyack Rd, West Nyack, NY 10994 ( on Friday, February 9th, 4-7 PM. A memorial service will be held at the Clarkstown Reformed Church, 107 Strawtown Rd, West Nyack, NY 10994 on Sat, February 10th at 11:30 AM and a luncheon will immediately follow in the Fellowship Hall adjacent to the church.