Dr. Marlene Michels Pomper, 76, died Friday in her home in Highland Park, NJ. The cause was metastasis of transitional cell cancer, a condition she had endured for twelve years, functioning for the last three years with a long-awaited kidney transplant.
Dr. Pomper was raised in New York, where she graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1953 and, with honors, from Hunter College in 1957. She went on to raise three sons, earn graduate degrees, and pursue an active academic career. She began that career by teaching in the public high schools of Trenton, NJ and Morrisville, PA. After earning her M.A. and Ed.D. from Rutgers University, she successively served as Instructor at Rutgers, Assistant Professor at New York Institute of Technology, Chair of the English department at Passaic County Community College, and Director of General Education at Hudson County Community College, where she retired in 2001. In recent years, she volunteered as Curriculum Chair of Rutgers’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
She led a vibrant life, inspiring her family, students, friends, and colleagues. With her husband of 56 years – Gerald Pomper, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Rutgers - she travelled to over fifty countries around the world. Residence abroad included a year at Tel-Aviv University in Israel, a year at Oxford University where she wrote her doctoral dissertation, and a semester at Australian National University. She read widely and incisively, actively campaigned in political contests, swam tirelessly, wrote and painted creatively, always taking tremendous interest in all around her. She will be fondly remembered for her exuberance, intelligence, insight, humor, tenderness and strength.
She is survived by her husband; sons Marc Pomper, investment analyst at Munich Re, David Pomper, partner at Spiegel & McDiarmid, and Miles Pomper, senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies; daughters-in-law Rayna Nitzberg Pomper and Erika Siegel; five grandchildren: Aidan, Jacob, Zachary, Daniel, and Nora; and beloved sister Lynn Michels Sternstein.
Funeral services will be held at the Highland Park Conservative Temple, 201 South Third Avenue, Highland Park, on Sunday at 10 am. Internment will take place at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, followed by Shiva at her home, 348 South Third Avenue, Highland Park on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, 3:00-8:00 pm. Memorial donations are welcome at CASAofMiddlesexCounty.org
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