Obituary of Ellie Gelman
Ellie Gelman died January 27 at her home, surrounded by her sons
Charles and Peter, daughter-in-law Sophie and husband, Eric.
Her sister Sherry Polen and nephews Benjamin and David , too,
always had a very special place in her heart.
Simon and Mila Salholz, Ellie’s parents, were holocaust survivors
who met in a displaced persons camp after the war. Growing up a
child of survivors was something that shaped her entire life, as it did
for so many.
She was raised as Eloise Salholz in Queens and attended Hunter
College High School—another defining experience—where she
developed a sense of confidence in her intellect and met some
young women who would be friends for life.
After graduating from Yale, she went to work in the letters
department at Newsweek. The department kept a file of ‘chronics’
who were constantly sending in complaints about coverage of one
story or another. She always said she imagined her father was one
In fourteen years at Newsweek Ellie covered religion, fashion, and
national news, and wrote award-winning cover stories on women’s
issues—and met Eric. But she had always longed to go back to
school to pursue something more deeply, and after giving birth to
Charles and Peter, she found her calling.
She enrolled in the PhD program in clinical psychology at City
College, and did her analytic training at the Psychoanalytic
Association of New York. As a therapist, she devoted herself
tirelessly to her patients’ well-being, and was heartbroken when
illness forced her to close her practice.
Always a city girl, Ellie moved with great reluctance to Larchmont,
New York in 1996. She didn’t have a driver’s license, and really
didn’t know how to drive. Despite a rocky start, she grew to love the
community and made lasting friendships here. And she finally got to
have dogs…raising Goldens Annie, Maddie, Lily and the
irrepressible rescue dog Lacey, who is still with us.
Over the years she developed an abiding attachment to the
Berkshire foothills of southwestern Massachusetts, which became a
place of refuge for her, where, above all, she cherished spending
time with her family and friends. She knew t house she wanted as
soon as she saw it in a book of real estate listings we picked up at
Guido’s, and she made it her own. It became a sanctuary during the
pandemic and her illness. Even in her last days, she continued
tinkering with the art and light fixtures for what came to be known
as her “dream kitchen.”
After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July, 2022, Ellie
was determined to make the most of whatever time remained to
her. The most important part of that to her was being fully present
to her family and close friends. With the fierce diligence she
brought to everything, she avoided the pitfalls of bitterness and self-
pity, remaining as upbeat as possible under the extremely arduous
circumstances and always remembering to be grateful for the good
things in her life. In this and so many other things, she was an
inspiration to her family and friends.
She was generous, empathic, and always thoughtful. All that she
did for her friends, her colleagues, and her family, she did with
sensitivity to and painstaking regard for that person's individuality.
We love her and miss her.
Funeral Service will be Wednesday January 31, 2024 10:00 AM at Larchmont Temple 75 Larchmont Ave. Larchmont, NY 10538.
Interment will follow at Mt. Eden Cemetery 20 Commerce Street Hawthorne, NY 10532