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OB Loses Cherished Original
The Elegant Adele Wingate
Volume 49, Issue 10
By David Crohn

Adele Wingate, an adored and active member of the Ocean Beach community, died Aug. 5 at NYU Hospital. She was 78.

The cause was breast cancer, said her husband, Bill Wingate, a trustee of the village of Ocean Beach. She is survived by Bill; a daughter, Susan; her stepdaughter, Jeri; and Daniel, a grandchild.

She was diagnosed with the disease nine years ago, and throughout it all, said her husband, “She never mentioned it, always changed the subject, always wanted to talk about something light and happy and forward looking.”

An obituary from The New York Times echoed that sentiment: “The gallantry with which Adele fought this disease was an inspiration to all.”

Over 300 people, many from Ocean Beach, including the mayor and other trustees, attended her memorial service in New York on Aug. 9.

“Adele was a woman of great faith and determination, with a loving and generous nature. I think we all stood in awe of her, watching her valiantly battle breast cancer in recent years. During this time she lived life to the fullest even when the energy required to do so was overwhelming. No one heard her complain nor heard her say, ‘Why me?’ Adele saved her energy for life,” said Marilyn Moran, a close friend, during her eulogy at the funeral.

Ellie Ressler, a spokeswoman for the New York chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, an organization for which Adele served on the board of directors, also delivered a eulogy.

“She was such a presence. She was elegant, stunning, full of grace and a strong, modern professional woman who knew her own mind and didn’t hesitate to express it. But most of all, she was the epitome of bravery and quiet fortitude. She was a heroine.

“When we meet for the first board of directors meeting of the fall season, there will be more than an empty place where Adele used to sit: there will be a palpable feeling of absence and loss in our hearts for an extraordinary friend,” said Ressler.

Two weeks before her death she was honored by the Ocean Beach Association at its annual meeting, which presented her with a plaque recognizing her many years of service to the community, especially as the planner of the Ocean Beach Arts Show; she had been coming to Fire Island for 50 years.

Adele Harriet Weinstein was born July 3, 1927, in Brooklyn and raised in New York City. She attended NYU and later had her own business designing children’s clothing.

Bill and Adele first met in 1960 at a dinner party thrown by Arthur and Ina Rifkin, who still have a house in Ocean Beach. Although they fell in love almost immediately and were engaged a month later, because of personal circumstances the marriage was called off. He didn’t see her again for many years, but the relationship sparked again. The two were married in 1990 after living together, in Ocean Beach and New York, for eight years.

“It was a very long and deep love affair,” Bill said.

Speaking to The News, Bill fondly recalled one of their last memories together, from the night before her last trip to the hospital.

“We played Scrabble. We had a hard-fought game. She beat me by about two points, and got a big smile out of it. I would never intentionally let her win, and I did not—she would have hated me for that.