CHATHAM – Dr. Josephine Piekarz Ives, 99, of Chatham, passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 16, 2020. She was born in Colchester, Conn.; the daughter of the late Joseph and Anna (Przybos) Piekarz. She was predeceased by her husband, Sumner Albert Ives, who died April 24, 1984.
Josephine graduated from the Teachers College of Connecticut in 1943 and taught first grade in West Hartford, Conn. for three years. She graduated from Boston University in 1947 and served as the elementary school reading supervisor in Plainville, Conn. for two years. Josephine went on to earn her Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 1954 in Educational Psychology and went to the University of South Carolina, where she taught graduate students and developed a Reading clinic that served the schools throughout the state. In 1957 she accepted a position at New York University in NYC where she spent the next 20 years. Josephine retired as a Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology in 1977 and moved with her husband to Chatham.
Following her husband’s death, she became involved in local community affairs in Chatham. She served on the Eldredge Public Library Board of Trustees for 11 years. She was elected as Chatham’s first female selectman and served two terms, 1988-1994. Josephine also served on several town committees, e.g. elementary school and human service. She also volunteered as a reading tutor a half day a week in the Chatham Elementary School for 14 years. She was very proud of the annual donations she’d make to Chatham and Lower Cape charitable organizations. She was awarded the “Pioneering Women Award” by Cape Cod Community College in 2008, as well as the “Mercy Otis Warren” award as the Woman of the Year. She was also instrumental in incorporating two organizations: The Connecticut Cerebral Palsy Association in 1946 and The Lower Cape Cod Development Corporation, while she was on the Board of Selectmen.
Besides her parents and husband, she is predeceased by her four siblings; Francis, Adam, Anthony and Helen. She is survived by her stepson, Sumner William Ives, and a number of cousins scattered around the country.
In lieu of flowers, please remember her through donations to the Eldredge Public Library, 564 Main St., Chatham, MA 02633.