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Gilbert Tufel, Class of 1938


Gilbert (“Gil”) Tufel passed away on August 22, 2011. He was 89 years old. Gil grew up in the Bronx, the second youngest of seven children, and graduated from Townsend Harris at the age of 16. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from the City College of New York in 1942. During World War II, from 1943 to 1945, he served in Europe in the U.S. Army’s 33rd Machine Records Unit. A gifted writer, he worked as an editor and reporter for the Industrial Bulletin after the war, from 1946 to 1949, before moving into teaching and working in elementary schools in the Bronx and Queens.

He then earned a master’s degree in School Administration from New York University, and from 1966 to 1984 he was an Assistant Principal at P.S. 213 in East New York, Brooklyn—a school district that was as rough as he was gentle. He was, as one teacher put it, amiable and easy to work with, and his “many kindnesses and cheerful smile in the midst of turbulence” earned him the love and respect of children and teachers alike, as did his conscientiousness, hard work, and sense of fairness. He retired in 1984, and lived on Long Island and in Boynton Beach, Florida.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Saundra; his daughter, Alice; his son, Robert; and his brother, Sherman. Throughout his life, his love for his family was unflagging. He is missed every single day.

Photo circa 1960.