December 14, 2022

Obituaries 12/14/2022

Evelyn Saldick

Evelyn Saldick, who had a decades-long career as a public school kindergarten teacher first in Long Beach, NY, and then in Princeton, died at home on December 6, 2022. She was 96.

Born on September 29, 1926 in Ridgewood, NY, to Henrietta (Eichner) and Samuel Diamond, she received her B.S. from New York University School of Education in 1947. Evelyn married Dr. Jerome Saldick in 1951. They lived in Long Island, NY, Cincinnati, OH, and Milford, CT, before moving to Princeton in 1960 where she lived the rest of her life in the same house on Randall Road. She was always happy to return after a day of teaching or from an adventurous trip of which there were many worldwide. Travel almost always included a visit at a local kindergarten class that would become pen pals with hers at Littlebrook School (1961-1985) and Riverside School (1985-86).

Modesty and kindness were Evelyn’s hallmarks. Dedicated to the education of young children, she connected with most 5-year-olds with no more than eye contact and a smile.

Having vigorously claimed never to have worked a day in her life, Evelyn incorporated music into every single day of teaching because she was a fine pianist and her students responded to her soft touch and musicianship. Because showing rather than telling was her preferred method of teaching, she took her students on frequent outings in the area. When school budget cuts forced her to drastically reduce bus trips, she obtained her license in 1972 to drive a 50-seat school bus, and she and her students were back on the road.  She earned two sabbaticals from Princeton Regional Schools, first receiving her master’s degree from Rutgers University in 1970; and later awarded the opportunity from the Fullbright International Exchange Program to teach kindergarten in Oxfordshire, England for half a school year in 1985.

For decades after she retired from classroom teaching Evelyn mentored prospective teachers at Princeton University’s Teacher Prep Program and was an enthusiastic participant in Princeton University’s English Conversation Group which offers international graduate students the opportunity to practice English language skills, learn about American customs, and adapt to living in Princeton in a friendly and relaxed setting. She also enjoyed auditing classes at the University on subjects about which she previously knew nothing and applied her knowledge to new experiences.

Preferring the outdoors to any store or restaurant for a visit, she relished her long walks, bicycling with Jerry and the Princeton FreeWheelers, swimming at the Community Pool or in any calm body of water, and even skulling on Lake Carnegie in the early morning with her friend before the University crew came racing by. Evelyn took up jogging with the encouragement and companionship from her daughter, Barbara, often winning trophies in area races.

In 1995 at the age of 69, Evelyn was seriously injured when she was run over by a van while riding her bicycle in town. During her year of rehabilitation to a full recovery, she planned a reunion for all her kindergarten alumni at Littlebrook School in May 1997.  Ravioli, Littlebrook’s esteemed stuffed giraffe mascot, which Evelyn nurtured into perpetuity, was the event’s celebrity guest.

She was preceded in death by her parents, beloved husband of 62 years Jerome Saldick, and brother Norman Diamond.

Motherhood was Evelyn’s priority, above all else. Despite her aphasia in recent years she was able to communicate effectively. She is survived by her loving daughters, Barbara Lee and Diane. Special friend and kindergarten alumna, Danielle Rollmann, and live-in caregiver, Christina Brown, buoyed Evelyn to the end of her happy life.  

Funeral took place at The Jewish Center in Princeton on December 9 and burial on Long Island by arrangement with Kimble Funeral Home.  As Evelyn believed charity begins at home, she would encourage all to put family first.