COOPERSTOWN – Sandee Hillman Alpern, 71, a spinner, weaver and potter, as well as Cooperstown Elementary teacher, passed away this morning, Jan. 10, 2019, at Chestnut Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Oneonta. She had lived in Cooperstown since 1976.
Sandee was born in New York City on June 24, 1947, and grew up in Great Neck, Long Island. She attended Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., where she earned her bachelor of arts degree, then earned her master’s in educational psychology at the University of Chicago. She was married to Harlan Alpern in Roslyn on June 20, 1971.
After her marriage she moved to Rochester with her husband, who was a resident in pathology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She worked as a play therapist on inpatient pediatrics. She also took classes in spinning and weaving, becoming proficient and had her own spinning wheel and loom.
In 1976 she moved to Cooperstown with her husband, who was an attending pathologist at the Bassett Hospital. Sandee took a part-time position at the Cooperstown Elementary School as the teacher of the gifted and talented program. She continued to do spinning and weaving.
In addition, she took classes in pottery at The Smithy in Cooperstown. She had her own pottery wheel and kiln in the basement of her home. She developed expertise in pottery, sold her pieces and became a teacher of pottery at The Smithy, teaching two classes weekly and had a following of students. She sold her pottery as well as her weaving products at local stores and craft shows. She loved to collect and wear craft jewelry.
Sandee is survived by her husband, Harlan; her son, Micah (Sarah) of Mountain View, Calif.; by her daughter, Rebeka Seelinger (Brian) of Erie, Pa.; her four grandchildren, Bobby, Emma, Hazel and James; as well as by her mother, Corinne S. Hillman of Cooperstown, and a sister, Kathi Hillman McElroy (Hugh) of Port Jefferson. Sandee had many friends in the Cooperstown area as well as friends and relatives across the country who will miss her.
The funeral will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut St., Cooperstown, with Rabbi Peter Schaktman of Temple Emanu-El in Utica officiating. Burial will be in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, Queens.
For those that wish to honor Sandee’s life and memory a tax-deductible donation could be made to The Smithy Clay Studio, 55 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.