September 12, 1944 – December 10, 2012
IRENE SANDRA LEIBOWITZ -
To my mind, Irene was born an independent woman. Actually, she was born in Brooklyn and had a happy, normal childhood as the oldest daughter of a close, loving couple who always put family first. Growing up she enjoyed acting (among other things she was a member of the WNYE student workshop that produced and performed two radio shows a week), she loved reading, she loved days at the "beachy peachy", and she loved bossing around her two kid sisters - all the normal stuff. All grownup by the late 1960's, she earned her undergraduate and MBA degrees from New York University and entered the field of finance, which was then almost completely dominated by men. Irene was a pioneer. Through dint of her brains, hard work and charm she rose through the ranks to achieve great success - culminating in becoming the Managing Director of a British investment bank, Samuel Montague. Her mind was razor sharp; while not specifically legally trained, she was able to analyze documents compiled by the legal department and make significant contributions they had missed.
We learned strong values from our parents, and each of us girls also took other bits and pieces from them as well. Irene shared our Dad's love of numbers, the New York Yankees, and (unfortunately) the Republican Party. She shared our Mom's love of good quality in all things, an ability to very finely analyze factual information (it's family lore that when Irene wanted to purchase something she would turn it into a research project,at the end of which she could have published a paper on it) but, unfortunately, she did not share Mom's affection for the Democratic Party. Most of all she shared our parents' devotion to family. She was very involved and warm and loving to Sharon & I, to her nieces Dana and Amanda, her nephews Andy and Jim and especially her beloved great niece Talia and great nephews Zach, Aaron, Bradley and Alec. No one could have been more generous-hearted or taken more pleasure in the company of those she loved. The surest way to bring a smile to her face? Talk about anything those young ones did.
In her spare time, Irene loved to cook, to entertain - always graciously and beautifully, to read numerous financial journals, to shop - often for gifts for others - and to travel to warm climates. After retirement she split her time between Ft. Lee and winters in Ft. Lauderdale, where the sunshine and slower pace always refreshed and renewed her spirit. She became active in her co-op in Ft. Lee, where her legal and political smarts helped a group of like-minded residents engineer a "coup" of sorts, to the betterment of the building. She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched.
- Funeral Service Thursday, December 13, 2012
- Chapel Thursday, December 13, 2012
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October 5, 2013
Irene was my first boss, at Samuel Montagu. I have special memories of her strong work ethic, her sharp wit, and her infectious laugh. She was a tough negotiator with a great sense for how to get a deal done. This afternoon I ran across some old pictures from that time, and I went to find Irene on LinkedIn or Facebook~ we had not been in touch for over 20 years. I hope her family will enjoy seeing these pictures from 1986 or 1987 of Irene running the show at Montagu. [I have one other which I could not upload ~ limited to one but feel free to contact me].