Rita Dworkin dead, longtime East Meadow librarian, researcher was 85

Rita Dworkin died Friday, July 4, 2014 of

Rita Dworkin died Friday, July 4, 2014 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 85. (Credit: Betsy Thomas)

Rita Dworkin, an East Meadow librarian of 35 years, had a lifelong passion for language, learning and research, all three of which she would often share with her family.

"She was always cutting out articles for us," said Betsy Thomas, her daughter, of Boynton Beach, Florida. "She would find something relevant to whatever our interests were and share it with us."

Dworkin, who retired as a librarian in East Meadow in 1996, died Friday of a cerebral hemorrhage at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut. She was 85.

After an onset of Parkinson's disease, Dworkin moved last year to an assisted living facility in Norwalk, her family said.

She was born Rita Sokolov to Louis and Helen Sokolov and was raised in Brooklyn. She had three brothers: David, Arthur and Irving. Dworkin later moved with her parents and brothers to Rockville Centre.

During her career as a librarian, Dworkin co-wrote two annotated bibliographies with fellow librarian Irving Adelman, one of which was called "The Contemporary Novel: A Checklist of Critical Literature on the English Language Novel Since 1945."

"She spent hours at the New York Public Library doing research for those books," Thomas said.

In 1949, she wed Paul Dworkin, a builder. Together they had Thomas, their first child, followed four years later by their son Steven of St. James.

While Dworkin raised two children at home, she was also a student at LIU Post, where she earned her master's degree in library science.

Paul Dworkin died in 1986, leaving her a widow at 57. She joined a group of "fifty-somethings" and began traveling to see Broadway plays, said her friend Maxine Ziporkin, of East Northport, also a member of the group. Dworkin's favorite was the musical "South Pacific," she said.

Dworkin also collected recipes -- her pot roast, matzo ball soup and plum cake were family favorites, especially on Rosh Hashanah, Thomas said.

Well-dressed, Dworkin always matched her earrings and necklace with her outfit, Ziporkin said.A burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Mount Ararat Cemetery in East Farmingdale.

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