Joel Schenkman of Hamburg, N.J., passed away on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, at the Newton Memorial Hospital in Newton, N.J., from complications of COVID-19. He was 86 years old.
Born in Brooklyn, Joel graduated James Madison High School and attended University of Connecticut before joining the Air Force in 1953.
He married his longtime sweetheart Beverlee Sidorsky in April 1954, and then did a stint in Korea with the Air Force before returning home to Brooklyn.
Joel joined the family dressmaking business and moved to New Jersey in the late 1950’s.
For Joel, family was primary in his life. His closest friend for his entire adult life was his older brother Lester.
His first son, Noah, was born in 1958. By the time his second son, Joshua, was born in 1960, he and Beverlee moved to Old Bridge, N.J., to the sprawling development of Sayre Woods South. Sayre Woods South proved to be a loving home as daughter Rachel was born in 1961, son Emmanuel (Manny) in 1964 and son Aaron rounding out the clan in 1970.
Joel’s greatest source of pride in life was his family and his greatest enjoyment always involved family gatherings. He and Beverlee had an unbelievable 66 year-long love affair and they were completely devoted to each other. Joel loved planning and hosting family gatherings, especially, since it involved his other great enjoyment: food.
Although he loved eating, he also loved cooking for his family and guests, and he especially loved telling people the “right way” to eat food: “That just doesn’t go together” was one of his favorite expressions, for instance: “no ketchup on hot dogs ... it doesn’t go!”
It is revealing that his first job in high school was in a kosher delicatessen where he loved to reach in to the pickle barrel and pull out a couple of half-sours any time he wanted.
After Old Bridge, he moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, in 1984 as an Operations Executive for Wibbies, a children’s apparel manufacturer. After three years, his management skills landed him a new position on Long Island in a printing shop.
He moved to northern New Jersey in 1999, but never fully retired, working in the printing and real estate management industries for another 10 years. Joel loved projects, whether it was re-tiling a bathroom or producing his annual family movie for the holidays to distribute to his children and grandkids. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him and loved him.
Survivors include his wife, Beverlee, his five children and their spouses: Noah and Anita Schenkman, Joshua Schenkman, Rachel and Howard Seidman, Manny and Joyce Schenkman and Aaron and Kari Schenkman; and his 12 grandchildren: Yasmin, Jacob, Jesse, Hanna, Samuel, Max, Jack, Robyn, Jordan, Jamie, Dylan and Justin.
A virtual memorial service will be planned for a later date.
Memorial donations in Joel’s name may be made to the American Heart Association (https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/contact-us/online-donations-assistance-form) or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/donate).
Funeral arrangements are honorably entrusted to Zygmunt-Murtie Funeral and Cremation Service. To leave a condolence, please visit www.zmmemorials.com.