Annette 'Babe' Gelfand, 94, Ossining Clinic Founder

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OSSINING, N.Y. – Annette "Babe" Ruth Gelfand, a founder of the Ossining Open Door Clinic and former Briarcliff Manor resident, died Oct. 25 at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City from complications following cardiac surgery. She was 84.

Born July 11, 1928, in Atlantic City, N.J., she was the daughter of Bella and Ben Goldberg. She graduated from Atlantic City High School in 1946 and studied at the Art Students League in New York City.

Gelfand interned as a lab assistant at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, Mass., and then worked at the New York Infirmary for Women & Children in New York City. She married Ben Gelfand Dec. 20, 1953, in Atlantic City.

In 1972, she moved from part-time volunteering at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow to becoming a founder of the Ossining Open Door Clinic in the basement of the First Baptist Church in Ossining.

Gelfand became the clinic's lab director and continued in that capacity when the clinic expanded into facilities of its own. She later worked for Dr. Jerome Felsentein in Ossining.

An avid gardener, she also enjoyed working with acrylics in applying artwork to the walls of her home at 81 Macy Road in Briarcliff Manor. She and her husband retired to Heritage Village in Southbury, Conn., where she continued to volunteer, reading to children at the local library and helping out at the local thrift shop.

Gelfand is survived by four children, Janice (Norman), Saul (Johann), Bette (Doug) and Barry (Cheryl); and five grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband; and two brothers, Leonard and Irwin.

Interment will be Friday at Rodef Shalom in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. There will be a memorial reception from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Gelfand’s home in Heritage Village.

Memorial contribution may be made to the Art Students League of New York.

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