May Rose Salkin
Aspen, CO Colorado
May Rose Salkin passed away on Christmas Day, which was her favorite holiday. Her house in Brooklyn, NY., had been decorated by her daughter Karen with dozens of figurines, ornaments, cards and May’s favorite – an official Charlie Brown Christmas tree with its single red ornament.
She had spent 25 years visiting Aspen every summer with first her husband of 53 years, Martin Salkin, and then by herself (she had many friends there) for a number of years after Marty passed away in 1999.
In the early years, after their son Edward discovered Aspen during a teen tour and their daughter Betty and her family had begun visiting each summer, May and Marty spent every summer in the downstairs corner unit of the Bell Mountain Lodge across from City Market. You could always tell when the Salkins were in town because there was a parade of miniature Smurfs and such marching along the entire length of the windowsill, inviting all who passed by to stop in and visit. Later, they stayed in a cottage at Christiania Lodge. May finished up her last few summers here in a cabin at L’Auberge.
May Rose’s just-about-daily poems were published in both Aspen newspapers, which led to her being dubbed by many “The Poet Laureate of Aspen.” Readers looked forward to each day’s new May Rose missive, praising everything from the customer service at a local business to the nurses at the hospital, describing her pleasure at a restaurant’s offerings, or gently chiding a store, for example, for leaving unrepaired a sidewalk crack that presented a tripping hazard. (They fixed the crack immediately, even following May’s lead by writing in the wet pavement, “Dear May Rose, Does this ease your woes?”) Nothing was too insignificant for May Rose to notice.
She was also a prolific painter, mostly of watercolor florals that she gave away to people she liked – and there were very many of those. It seemed that almost everyone was her friend. She especially loved going out to breakfast and lunch every day, including a few days a week at the Senior Center.
After being educated at Washington Square College of New York University (bachelor’s degree) and Teachers College of Columbia University (master’s degree,) May Rose became an extremely popular English and journalism teacher in New York City public schools for 47 years, earning many accolades and official awards, including Brooklyn’s Teacher of the Year. A number of former students were so deeply affected by her spirit and generosity that they paid tribute to her at her funeral service, along with every member of her family, who either spoke or performed a musical tribute.
She leaves behind three children, Betty Wallach, Karen Salkin and Edward Salkin; their spouses, Howard Wallach, Ray Buktenica and Lou Ann Salkin; and three grandchildren, Catherine Wallach, David Wallach and Veronica Shea Salkin.
In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made in May Rose Salkin’s name to one of her favorite charities, Citymeals-on-Wheels.
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