Arlene  Bakal

Obituary of Arlene Bakal

Arlene S. (Seplow) Bakal, 97, Manhattan went to rest peacefully on November 9, 2017 after a long, fulfilling and happy life surrounded by her family that she adored. She lived independently in the city she loved that filled her with vigor and spunk, allowing her to enjoy her many passions, especially theater and art.. She often referred to the Museum of Modern Art as her temple and said that the paintings were like her old friends. She was born April 29, 1920 and grew up in the Bronx with her parents, Bernard and May Seplow and her dearest sister Phyllis Leegant who preceded her in death.


She was an unabashedly proud graduate of Brooklyn College, where she was President of her sorority, Alpha Omega.  She began her career as a technical illustrator at the Adamson ad agency and then Warners.  During a weekend getaway, at Grossingers, she met her soulmate and best friend, Sid Bakal (who preceded her in death) and they married within a year on September 16th, 1951 at the Grand Concourse Plaza. Together, they enjoyed many interests including theater and the harness track. After their daughters were born, Arlene focused her time home with them but eventually returned to work as an elementary teacher in the South Bronx, first as an art teacher and then as a classroom teacher.  She delighted in the smiles of all of the children who often accompanied her to the subway for her commute home.  


Her greatest joys later in life were her grandchildren, Alexandra and Daniel, over whom she beamed with pride. Most recently, she looked forward to her regular visits from Alex, who recently moved to the city.  She lived life on her own terms and came to the end of her life the same way—in her home where she was lovingly cared for in her final months by her devoted daughter Alison.


Arlene is survived by her daughters, Alison Bakal and Wendy Bakal (Augie Stagliano) of Ithaca, NY, grandchildren, Alexandra and Daniel Stagliano, her special niece, Jo Anne Leegant (Jan Egger) of Brighton, NY, her sisters-in-law Shirley Bakal and Corinne Bakal Nusbaum, and several nieces and nephews.


In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care or the Brooklyn College Foundation.


Graveside services will be held Tuesday, November 14th at 12:30pm at Cedar Park  Cemetery 735 Forest Ave., Paramus, NJ. Calling hours will be at Arlene’s home on Tuesday from 5 to 7pm and on Wednesday from 5 to 8pm.  


For condolences, directions, or information, please contact Eden Memorial Chapel at or call (201) 947-EDEN