2017-10-05 / Obituaries

Frances Weiss Zelenko

Frances Weiss Zelenko, 99, of St. Clare-Newport, Rhode Island, and formerly of Brooklyn and Queens and Long Island, N.Y., and Mystic, Conn., passed away Oct. 2, 2017.

Born Oct. 13, 1917 in Brooklyn, Frances was the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Abraham Weiss and Dora (Givner) Weiss.

Frances was a smart woman and a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her mother, Dora, died when Frances was 16 and she left high school to earn money during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She initially worked in a factory of garment industries but quickly moved to their offices. She eventually became a key-punch operator. Later in life, she earned her GED and a became a COBOL computer programmer. She was employed by Grumman Aircraft, Bethpage, N.Y., and was part of their Lunar Excursion Module and Y2K teams.

Frances was an avid reader. In retirement, she explored her artistic side, creating beautiful paintings and needlepoint. She embraced technology. In her later years, when her eyesight failed, she listened to many audio books provided by the National Library Service for the Blind through the Rhode Island Talking Books program.

In addition to her parents, Frances was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 57 years, Gustave Zelenko, and her two brothers, Samuel Weiss and Jacob (Jack) Weiss.

She is survived by her daughters, Delia Klingbeil and husband Ralph, and Miriam Skertich; three granddaughters, Jennifer Klingbeil Borhegyi and husband George; Abigail Klingbeil and husband David Zipkin; and Zondra Skertich and husband James Hebrlee; and four great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Daniel Borhegyi, and Julia and Ethan Zipkin.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to Rhode Island Talking Books, Office of Library and Information Services, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908-5803.

The family wishes to thank the excellent staff of St. Clare- Newport for their dedicated care of Frances in her last years. They also thank Rabbi Marc Mandel of Touro Synagogue for his frequent visits and conversations with Frances.

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