LADUE – Ferne, 92, on Nov. 7, peacefully at home. Beloved wife of Russell (deceased), devoted mother of Margaret (Jack McGonigle) and David (Annette), joyful grandmother of Benjamin, Mitchell, and Alexander (Rae), and was like a second mother to many friends and relatives in times of need.
Ferne was born and raised in the Bronx, NY to Sylvia and Irving Spielman. She attended PS 90 in the Bronx, and George Washigton High School in Manhattan. She graduated from the University of Michigan with honors, receiving her BA in English. While there, she met and married the love of her life Russell LaDue, Jr. They were happily married for 55 years until his death.
Ferne continued her education and graduated with an MA in English from Lehman College and went on to teach at Bronx Community College for 25 years.
Rather than move to the suburbs like so many did in the 1970’s, Ferne chose to stay and strengthen her community by founding and serving as executive director of the Riverdale Community Center, a non-profit organization which is still thriving today.
Ferne also served on the Community Board 8.
In 2015, Ferne moved to Ocean City, NJ to live with her daughter Margaret and son-in-law Jack. Her devoted caretaker, Emma Kumi, made her final years comfortable and happy.
Shiva will be observed Sunday, 1-3 PM at Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, 475 W. 250th St., Bronx, NY. For condolences to the family please visit www.godfreyfuneralhome.com.
Honorary gifts can be made to the Natural Resource Defense Council at nrdc.org