Rochelle Semel

1933 - 2016

HARTWICK - Rochelle Semel, artist, social and labor activist, teacher, and all around lover of life, died peacefully August 27, 2016, after a short, but serious illness.  

She will be deeply missed by her children Danny and Lani, her daughter-in-law Amelia, and her other family and dear friends. 

Rochelle was born in 1933 in the Bronx to Joseph and Julia Posner, and after many travels, eventually settled in Hartwick with her partner of 36 years, Paul Poulos (1938-2016).

Deeply caring, intelligent and aware, Rochelle brought these qualities into her personal life and her work. Rochelle was a talented artist, as well as Director of Trade Union Women Studies for Cornell's ILR School. Even after retirement, Rochelle continued for decades to teach at UALE Northeast Summer School for Union Women at Cornell.  

In 1976 she joined the I.W.W. which reflected her values and passions, leading to her deep involvement with the union. She participated in many roles over the years, including a period serving as General Secretary-Treasurer.

Rochelle appreciated simple pleasures such as reading, watching classic movies and cultivating the beautiful gardens where she lived.  

She will be forever held in the hearts of those whose lives she's touched.

Services will be held on August 30, 2016, in Cooperstown at Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.