GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Toni Abramson Matthews (nee Neumark), 77, of Winchester, Conn. and Oak View, Calif. and formerly a longtime Greenburgh resident and educator, died Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late Leo and Marion Neumark.
She was an English teacher at Woodlands High School in Greenburgh Central School District for 29 years, where she also coached field hockey and track. She was one of the founding members of Wise Individualized Senior Experience at Woodland’s High School in the 1970s and served as the co-coordinator.The program provides high school seniors with the opportunity to design individualized, passion-driven projects that empower a transition from high school to college, work and lifelong learning. The program later became a national model and is now available in 60 schools with more than 35,000 graduates across the country.
In addition to coaching field hockey at Woodlands, she was the head coach for U.S. Open Field Hockey team for the Maccabee Games in Israel in the 1990s.
She passionately looked for ways to help children and dogs throughout her life. She was a lifelong volunteer in the area of education. Together with her husband Dick, she worked with incarcerated teenagers in California, teaching them chess, and helping them to earn their GEDs. For 40 years, she adopted more than a dozen rescue dogs.
In her spare time, she practiced tae kwan do. She and her husband also became proficient woodworkers, making cutting boards, bowls and wooden toys.
She is survived by her husband, Richard Matthews; daughter, Jessica Mastrangelo (Gary)and grandchildren Samantha, Matthew and Jake; son, Leigh Abramson (Carrie) and grandchildren Josh, Abby and Jake; son, Joel Abramson (Kelly) and grandchildren Eamon, Noah and Ella. She also is survived by her sister, Janet Fribourg (Don).
A memorial service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Sunday at Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home, 64 Ashford Ave., Dobbs Ferry.