Dr. Ilene Rockman died yesterday–and that’s the last time I’ll use “Dr.,” because she was always Ilene to my wife and me.
You may know or know of Ilene through her many professional and editorial activities within ACRL, at the California State University System, and elsewhere. Charles W. Bailey, Jr., posted this notice earlier today; it offers a good brief summary of her career.
I might have met Ilene at some editorial board function many years ago (actually, I almost certainly did)–but we really got to know her when she married Fred Gertler. Fred is a close friend; has been for more than a quarter-century. When Fred married Ilene, she became a close friend too. Fred called this morning to let us know; we just returned from a visit.
Ilene had great intelligence, persistence, energy, and personality. I knew some of her many accomplishments. I also knew she and Fred made a great pair for the last decade–and admired her as a person as much as as a high-achieving librarian.
We always got together for a combined New Year’s/anniversary (ours) brunch, and typically a few more times each year. We’ll miss her. So will the library field (in general) and, I’m sure, thousands of individual librarians.
There’s more to say, but that’s enough for here and now.
Update, November 30: Please see the comments for this entry, including Fred Gertler’s eloquent eulogy.