Late commissioner Tamarin to be memorialized at Steppingstone Park

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Ruth Tamarin was first elected to be a commissioner of the Great Neck Park District in 1998. (Photo courtesy of the Tamarin family)
Ruth Tamarin was first elected to be a commissioner of the Great Neck Park District in 1998. (Photo courtesy of the Tamarin family)

The memory of the late Great Neck Park Commissioner Ruth Tamarin will live on through a statue dedicated in her honor, park district representatives and family friends said on Tuesday, with a ceremony to take place on Sunday.

The soon-to-be installed bronze fixture was described as a bench with two children reading, along with a special plaque outlining Tamarin’s vision for the park district. It will be placed at Steppingstone Park in Kings Point under a magnolia tree near the flower bed.

A waterfront view from Steppingstone Park, which grew while Tamarin was commissioner. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
A waterfront view from Steppingstone Park, which grew while Tamarin was commissioner. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

“It’s a very fitting memorial to her because she loved children and she loved Steppingstone,” Park Commissioner Robert Lincoln, who worked with Tamarin, said on Tuesday. “And it’s really going to be a beautiful addition to the park.”

Bob and Shelly Sobel, members of the Ruth Tamarin Memorial Committee who knew her for over 30 years, said they solicited contributions for forging a memorial. They then donated it to the Great Neck Park District, which will install it.

“It was really a labor of love,” Bob Sobel said.

Tamarin, after her career as a teacher, served as a park commissioner for more than 15 years before retiring in 2014.

She helped spearhead numerous initiatives like expanding the Parkwood pool, growing the waterfront of Steppingstone Park through eminent domain and establishing a special playground accessible for all children, including the disabled.

A group of children play in the special park that Park Commissioner Ruth Tamarin helped spearhead. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
A group of children play in the special park that Park Commissioner Ruth Tamarin helped spearhead. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

“The best testimonial is a visit to a park, particularly Steppingstone and the park for disabilities on the [Village] Green. Great Neck has been described as one of the best urban park systems in New York state,” her cousin Stephen Schensul wrote in his eulogy delivered in May.

Lincoln said that while there are many dedications across the park district, this one seems particularly appropriate.

“It remembers her in a very positive way that’s very fitting with her personality and her endeavors,” Lincoln said.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Steppingstone Park.

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