Sylvia Himmelfarb
- Original Credit:
Sylvia Himmelfarb - Original Credit: (HANDOUT)

Sylvia Himmelfarb, a retired Johns Hopkins University biologist and volunteer, died Jan. 31 of complications from dementia at Sunrise of Pikesville, an assisted-living facility. She was 98.

The daughter of Emanuel Himmelfarb, a Light Street grocer, and Ida Himmelfarb, a homemaker, Sylvia Himmelfarb was born in Baltimore and raised above her family's Federal Hill store.


After graduating from Baltimore public schools, she earned a bachelor's degree in 1938 in biology from Goucher College.

From 1950 until 1980, when she retired, she worked in the Johns Hopkins University's department of biology on the Homewood campus, where she was a member of a laboratory research team that studied muscles and muscle diseases.

Prior to Hopkins, she had worked at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

A former longtime resident of Bonnie Ridge Apartments on Old Pimlico Road, Miss Himmelfarb was a world traveler.

She also was a volunteer and supporter of cultural arts in Baltimore, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Center Stage and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

After retiring, Miss Himmelfarb volunteered at the Johns Hopkins University and the Walters Art Museum. She was a member for many years of the Walters Art Museum Friends of the Asian Collection and a member of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

She also volunteered with Susan G. Komen Maryland in support of breast cancer research.

No services were held.

She is survived by a sister, Lily Polakoff of Tacoma, Wash.; and many nieces and nephews and nieces, including WJZ-TV weather forecaster Bob Turk of Baltimore.