Dr. Lee Katz passed away peacefully on February 17, 2022, at home in Rye, as was her wish. She leaves family and friends around the world, especially in Rye, where she was an active member of the community.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., ninety-one years ago, she married the love of her life, Harold W. Katz, when she was 17. As she remarked, she was a college freshman and a faculty wife at the same time. She earned a master’s degree at Syracuse University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Education. Lee went on to hold leadership roles at Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan–Dearborn, and Purchase College.
Lee and Hal Katz moved to Water’s Edge in Rye in the mid-1980s. After the passing of her beloved husband in 1988, Lee held senior positions in the development office of the Friends of Ben Gurion University, followed by the Abraham Fund, which sought to support co-existence in Israel.
She also devoted herself to many organizations focused on improving the community, including SPRYE, Community Synagogue of Rye, the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, The Rye Arts Center, and the 92nd Street Y.
A great believer in lifelong education, she was taking courses, learning and studying including for a bat mitzvah at age 90, until her last days.
She loved Rye and her home on Long Island Sound and was able to see the water and Playland from her window through her final days as she greatly wished.
She is survived by two children who adored her, Rhonda Barnat and Stuart B. Katz together with the daughter-in-law she loved dearly, Suzanne. Lee had five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, each of whom felt the depth of her love. Her companion of many years, Robert K. Freeland, and his children and grandchildren, were always close to her heart.
Lee Katz will be greatly missed, and her legacy of love and care lives on in the many who loved and admired her.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Dr. Harold W. Katz Scholarship Fund at Purchase College, SPRYE, or Community Synagogue of Rye.
A celebration of Lee Katz’s life will be held via video conference on Sunday, February 27 at 12 p.m. Log on to https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83236518117?pwd=TUpjM2wvV1pMVkRmK3VndWdrSzVBUT09.
Meeting ID: 832 3651 8117 Passcode: Lee