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'Sunny' Feldman, Teacher for 28 Years, Dies at 78
"I have to believe that Sunny was the perfect name for this woman, because she brought sunshine to everyone," said Wendy Smith, principal of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School's Stern Center, where Feldman was an assistant teacher for about 28 years.
Feldman, who lived in Wynnewood, died on July 9 from complications following bypass surgery. She was 78 years old.
Raised in West Philadelphia, Feldman -- nee Goldfeld -- graduated from Overbrook High School, and earned a teaching degree from Temple University before going on to teach in the Philadelphia school district and, after her children had grown, at Perelman.
"She loved the energy the kids brought every day," said her son, Gary Feldman.
Despite her age, many said that Feldman was as lively as they come.
She had a passion for singing, acting and dancing, and her longtime friend and Perelman colleague Marjorie Surden referred to her as "a real ham -- a kosher ham. She loved to be up in front of people; there was nothing shy about her."
Because the school was almost a second family for Feldman, plans are under way to pay tribute to her when the academic year begins.
"We recognize that when we come together as a school community, a valuable member of our community is not going to be with us anymore," said Smith. "I'm sure we'll have some type of prayer service, and some type of memorial where we talk to the kids about Sunny's life and what she did, and celebrate what she was to all of us."
Smith also noted that the school was also working with Feldman's family on some type of permanent tribute, though no specific details were discussed.
"She was a real people person, and she had a real gift with people of all ages," said Smith. "Whether it was our little gan kids she'd read to at lunch, our young teachers, our veteran teachers -- everybody loved her."
Feldman was the widow of the late Martin Feldman. In addition to son Gary, she is survived by sons Jerry Feldman and Jeff Feldman; daughter Lisa Feldman; a brother, Herbert Goldfeld; and three grandchildren.
Following a July 13 service at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks on Broad Street, she was interred at Mt. Jacob Cemetery in Glenolden.
Donations in her memory can be made to: the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School, Stern Center, 49 Haverford Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096 (www.pjds.org).