Barbara Ivry died quietly on Dec. 3, two days after her family and friends raised a toast and ate icebox cake in honor of her 90th birthday.

Bobby, as all knew her, was born in New York city on Dec. 1, 1925, the first child of Herman and Bertha Herskowitz. A proud product of New York’s public school system, Bobby graduated from Hunter College with a degree in journalism and English literature. After graduation, she worked for the city of New York while contemplating a move to California to attend journalism school, with thoughts of becoming a beat writer for her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. However, Cupid’s arrow intervened when her parents arranged, in a not-so-subtle way, a meeting with David Ivry, the son of a friend. Bobby loved to recount their first date, listening to a Dodgers game on the radio with her parents hovering in the background.

Married in 1948, Bobby and Dave moved to Storrs, Conn., where Dave had been appointed as a professor at the University of Connecticut. They shared 50 wonderful years on Westwood Road, raising their four children and becoming pillars of the community. Among her many activities, Bobby organized the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, spearheaded local campaigns in support of Democratic candidates, and was the first instructor at the UConn chapter of Hillel. In 1970, Bobby returned to school, earning a master of social work degree in 1974. After graduation, she worked as a psychiatric social worker at the Community Child Guidance Clinic in Manchester, taking tremendous pleasure in working with local families until her retirement in 1990. In retirement, Bobby continued with her volunteer work, nurtured her azaleas and dogwoods, and indulged in her great passion for travel. Following Dave’s death in 2000, she made her way back to New York city and loved rediscovering the neighborhoods of the Lower East Side. Always the “wandering Jew,” Bobby spent much of her last years on the road, treasuring time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in New York, New Mexico, and California.

Bobby lived life curiously. To her, the world was an open classroom, a place to wonder about the mysteries of biology, geology and climatology. Her curiosity was best reflected in her favorite word of the past few years, “delicious.” The California sun? Delicious. New York foliage? Delicious. The sand under her toes as she trudged over the dunes to Philbin Beach? Delicious. She held court from behind her New York Times every morning, armed with coffee, cheese and toast. Nothing made her happier than the family’s yearly pilgrimages to Martha’s Vineyard, a tradition that started in 1966 and continues to this day; just three months ago, Bobby yet again impressed the crowd with her most unique backstroke. She had an uncanny ability to win every game of Scrabble or bridge, and usually finished in the money in the family Hold ‘Em tournaments. Whether sampling swordfish at a beach barbecue, reciting a snippet of a Coleridge poem, or ripping the bark from an unsuspecting oak, Bobby read the world as a place of mystery and pleasure. That excitement, that freshness, that love, is something that each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as countless friends, will always attempt to emulate. 

She is survived by her brother Elliot Herskowitz, sisters in law Lita Herskowitz and Lillian Libertoff, and her four devoted children, Rob, Judy, Bill, and Rich. Her children, together with their spouses Patti Ivry, Phil Block, the late Joan Gallini, and Ann Lacey, produced the greatest treasure of Bobby’s life: eight grandchildren, Lizzie, Greg, Seth, Asa, Ani, Henry, Sam, and Juli Rou, and five great-grandchildren, Dylan, Josh, Hudson, Tate, and Grace.

Donations in Bobby’s memory may be made to Planned Parenthood,, or the Vineyard Conservation Society.