Evelyn Simpson, nee Silverstein, 90, passed away November 13, 2021, surrounded by her children.
Evelyn, nickname Ev, was born and raised in Newark and raised her family in Millburn. She resided in Mountain Lakes ultimately settling at Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains. Evelyn’s background was extensive. She graduated from Weequahic High School and the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art. She studied ceramics at the Newark Museum, Kean University, Montclair University, Pennsylvania State University, Greenwich House Pottery and The Old Church School of Art. She also studied at Edison State College, Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design with concentrations in architecture, planning and design.
Evelyn worked for the City of Newark as a space planner and interior designer from 1975-1981 where she was an integral part of completing renovations of the city’s Symphony Hall and City Hall. While working as a consultant for Essex County Department of Parks and Recreational and Cultural Affairs, she helped develop, design and implement the plan that established The Ricker Hill Art Park in Livingston, formerly a Nike Missile Base. Evelyn volunteered with the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Lincoln Park Association of Newark to organize their annual July Fest. Her deep appreciation for the arts led her to become the first President of The Folk Music Society of Northern New Jersey (FMSNNJ) as well as the lead vocalist with Reeds, Rhythm and All That Brass. She served on the Board of Directors of the Old Church Cultural Center and School of Art in Demarest and was a founding member of Peters Valley Craft Village in Sussex County and The Clayworkers Studio of Edison.
Evelyn was an accomplished stoneware potter and teacher. Her artwork has been proudly exhibited all over New Jersey including at the Hunterdon Art Center, The Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, The Newark Museum, Peters Valley, The Summit Art Center, The Craft Shows of Temple Israel in Ridgewood, Creative Crafts Annual Shows of Temple Emanu-el in Westfield and many others. Evelyn shared her knowledge of stoneware pottery and became an educator, teaching ceramics at Rutgers University Newark Campus and various courses at the Newark Museum Arts Workshop.
Evelyn also had many other interests such as papermaking, singing folk music and playing guitar. Evelyn’s greatest love was her family and friends. She made long-lasting memories with her at-home hosted folk music parties and family camping trips to Petersburgh, New York for the Beers Family Folk Festival at Fox Hollow. She cherished the memories made during her weekend getaways at Eastern Cooperative Recreation School (ECRS) and especially her trips to Israel, Japan, and Hawaii. She was an intelligent, creative and loving woman who will be deeply missed.
Evelyn is survived by her children, David Simpson and Kami Simpson, her sister, Myrna Friedman and former husband, Milton Simpson. Ev is pre-deceased by her parents, Tillie and Charles Silverstein, her brother, Marvin Silverstein and long-term partner Man Mohan Sondhi.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Newark Museum in memory of Evelyn.