Obituary: Adrienne Markowitz
Adrienne Markowitz, longtime resident of Montclair, died on July 24, 2017, from metastatic breast cancer. Adrienne was the mother of Billy and Toby Markowitz and Elena Kennedy, long time companion of Shuaib Ahmed, grandmother of Mason and Ceci Kennedy, sister of David Rosner and the late David Podell and former wife of Gerald Markowitz. She leaves behind many other dear family members and friends.
Ms. Markowitz was a devoted member of the Montclair community since 1972 and an accomplished artist. She was a co-founder of Doubletree Gallery, an artists’ cooperative gallery of fine art and contemporary crafts and the co-founder of the Clay Cellar, the pottery studio now run by Carla Horowitz.
In 1985 Ms. Markowitz received a master’s degree in public health and worked for 35 years as an industrial hygienist. She was a tireless advocate for workers, their families and communities. She worked with, and for, the New Jersey teachers union, identifying threats from mercury, chromium, lead, asbestos and other toxins in schools throughout the state. She also worked with the union representing firefighters, retail workers and other employees throughout New Jersey. She traveled widely throughout the South inspecting and documenting the horrible conditions in chicken parts “factories” there. She documented the injuries of white and black women working long hours in near slave conditions who suffered severely from carpal tunnel and other forms of damage from repetitive motion.
While spending most of her artistic life as a potter Ms. Markowitz had recently turned to watercolor painting. Her works express the vibrant color, fluidity and immediacy that she loved about the medium. She exhibited her works in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and throughout the Midwest.
In keeping with her dedication to the Montclair community, she organized an exhibit of her work, “With A Song In My Heart,” that was exhibited at the Montclair Public Library this past spring. Her watercolor paintings of tulips were featured on the cover of the “May In Montclair” booklet in both 2015 and 2016.
Ms. Markowitz’s personality was warm and encompassing and anyone who met her felt immediately embraced by her and included in her life. Her family has been deeply moved by the stories of people we barely knew telling of her kindness. Many returned the kindness in Adrienne’s final months — fixing things small and large around the house, driving her to appointments, cooking, cleaning, and especially visiting and offering emotional support, humor and love.