Prominent Area Educator Barbara Zirkin Dies at 75

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Dr. Barbara Zirkin (Photo provided)

Dr. Barbara Zirkin (nee Gottlieb), prominent educator and former Associate Dean of Stevenson University, passed away on June 20, 2019 at the age of 75. Dr. Zirkin was born in Columbia, South Carolina to the late Robert and Mildred Gottlieb, and grew up in White Plains, New York. She attended White Plains High School, then Harpur College (now SUNY Binghamton), and Hunter College for her undergraduate degree. While a freshman in college, she met Barry Zirkin, then a junior, and the two were married in August of 1965. The couple settled in Baltimore and Barbara continued her studies at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in education.

Over the course of 40 plus years, Dr. Zirkin taught at several universities, including the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Hebrew University, and Stevenson University, where she served as Associate Dean. She was truly devoted to making a difference in the world, at the institutions where she worked, and in the lives of her students. Dr. Zirkin enjoyed nurturing their developing minds and watching her students blossom.


In her spare time, she liked to read the New York Times from cover to cover daily, as well as read every NY Times best seller. She enjoyed her time singing with the Beth El Choir, was an active member of Beth El Synagogue, and loved traveling with family and friends. The most important thing in her life was her family. She was incredibly proud of her two sons and their families, as well as her own professional accomplishments.

Dr. Zirkin will be missed greatly by her family, coworkers, students, and friends. She is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, Dr. Barry Ronald Zirkin, her sons, Dr. Bill (Dr. Anat) Zirkin, and Bobby (Tina) Zirkin, a brother, Jim (Roberta) Gottlieb, and grandchildren, Talia, Jonah, Sophie, and Emma Zirkin. Barbara was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Mildred Gottlieb.

Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Sunday, June 23, at 12 pm. Interment Beth El Memorial Park – Randallstown.

Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Beth El Congregation Choir, 8101 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21208.

In mourning at 6820 Chippewa Drive, Baltimore, MD 21209, Sunday following interment until 4 pm and from 6-8 pm.

The family will be receiving visitors on Monday from 5-9pm with evening services Sunday and Monday.

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