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Cochlear Implants, hearing loss and more! I carry an interesting perspective: someone who had normal hearing growing up, lost it all slowly as an adult, then regained it with cochlear implants. So I'm deaf, but I can hear - a true miracle. If you'd like to know more about me and my bilateral cochlear implant experiences right away, my two books have a wealth of information - see the links below. Check out the list of upcoming events too - perhaps one day we'll get to meet!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

In Memoriam: Ira Z. Romoff (1947-2013)

My beloved husband of 43 years, Ira, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.  The funeral was held Thursday, August 1, 2013 where open captioning was provided.  I delivered the following eulogy in his honor.  Additional eulogies were delivered by my son and daughter. Donations in his memory can be sent to the Center for Hearing and Communication www.chchearing.org  A detailed review of his professional accomplishments can be found at    http://leasingnews.org/Pages/extra_romoff.html


AUGUST 1, 2013 – Arlene Romoff

This is such a difficult task for me – yet seeing all of you here today – friends, family, colleagues - I just have to tell you that it means so much to me to have your support and your love.   

And, speaking of love, let me tell you the story of Arlene and Ira – it goes all the way back to the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan – starting in Mr. Howard’s English class in 1963.  Ira was somehow partial to redheads – and I enjoyed being adored – so that was a pretty good way to begin a 50-year relationship.  Our first date was a New York Philharmonic rehearsal at Lincoln Center – I bought the tickets – a dollar each!  By our next date, the 1964 World’s Fair, romance was blossoming by the moonlit fountains.  And did you know that Ira came to my Sweet 16 Party – and was annoyed that there were other people there!  Next – on to City College – and a ZBT fraternity pin – and then an engagement ring by our senior year. We were married in 1970 – and our first dance was “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

And THAT song was prophetic.  As I started losing my hearing, Ira did, indeed, watch over me.  He was devoted to me, to my well-being, and to my happiness – just as he was always devoted to his family and to his friends. 

 We did work as a team, though – as I became “the banker’s wife” – and we became “Michael and Emily’s Mom and Dad.” We were quite a team, too – and outwardly looked so normal.  Yet my hearing loss was the invisible damper that couldn’t be ignored.  

But – for those of you who knew Ira in business – good strategy can triumph over weaknesses. Just last week, Ira told me that when we were tennis doubles partners, many years ago -  he would call “SWITCH” so our opponents would think I would cross the court – but he knew I wouldn’t hear it, so wouldn’t switch.  (Are you following this? It’s really quite brilliant!) 

We had other strategies too (that I was actually aware of!)  I communicated by subtle facial expressions when I needed his help understanding something – and he always “got it.”  He most surely “watched over me” – and I really needed him to.  And he never faltered – or complained. 

And then a miracle happened – something we never could have imagined back in 1970 - cochlear implant technology allowed me to hear again – and with two devices, one in each ear, I could finally turn to the sound of my name – something that had eluded us for four decades.  Can you imagine the look of joy on Ira’s face when he could finally do something as simple as call my name, and I would turn around?   No matter how many times we did this, we still smiled – it just never seemed to get old.

And that brings us to the present – just as recently as this past weekend, Ira helped me participate in a cochlear implant convention – assisting in my booksignings and such. He took such joy in being that “someone to watch over me” – as if nothing had changed in 43 years.  Except today I’m on my own – but I’m pretty sure he’s still watching over me – and watching over you, too.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your husband and your shared life, Arlene. Thank you for posting this...I feel as though I know you a little better now and am sorry I never got to meet the "team" of you and your husband. May the wonderful memories you have of your five decades with Ira sustain you through your grieving.

  2. What a beautiful tribute!! Ira touched the lives of many and you have a beautiful angel watching over you. Thank YOU Ira for sharing Arlene with us! For the many hours the two of you together changed the world with Arlene's books. Ira was a huge supporter and cheerleader. Praying for you Arlene

  3. My dear Arlene,
    You have a way with words...
    And I believe it too... Yes, he would be watching over you. It was a pleasure to meet him, share the boat ride and have you at home.
    Now you, Arlene, please remain watching over us
    A big hug

  4. Arlene, I am so very sorry to hear this. I shook hands with Irv when I bought "Listening Closely" from you at the Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention. That was on July 27th. Little did I know! I was touched that he sat by you at your booksigning. I thought to myself, "Now there's a devoted husband." I know what he meant to you from your books - how he stood by you through decades of hearing loss and restoration. And you were together for longer than I've been alive! Please accept my condolences for your loss, and take comfort in your many and long memories of him.

  5. Arlene -

    So sorry. What a wonderful man.

    This is a great loss to everyone.

    I met you both once in the summer of 2011. My deepest condolences.

    Stan Jernow

  6. Arlene, the thoughts and prayers of all your friends from the NECI Convention are with you. I feel so fortunate to have met Ira just ten days ago. The sparkling companionship you two shared was obvious at your bookslgning. That someone is still watching over you.
    Marilyn Neault

  7. Arlene, I'm so sorry that you have lost your beloved husband. He went way before his time and know will leave a hole in your heart. I read your eulogy, his resume and have known you online (and a little bit in person) so realize how attached you were to one another. I will pray for your comfort and peace of mind and that of your family as well. Judy Martin

  8. Arlene, so sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. You wrote a beautiful heartfelt eulogy! You and your family are in my prayers Arlene. Losing your loved one is difficult but you are watched over and cherish the memories you and Ira shared.

    Big hugs!
    Becky Hague

  9. Arlene...sorry for your loss.
    Your eulogy was heartfelt and my thoughts are with you during this time.
    May you find strength and peace in due time.

    Kym Bozarth
    Secretary ~ Deaf Women United of NJ & GP

  10. I am so very sorry for your loss, Arlene. I also just met Ira at the CI convention. My 16 year old son and I both enjoyed speaking with him at your book signing (we talked about mini golf). What a delightful man.

  11. Arlene, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved husband. I met him at the Convention in DC. He seemed like a very nice man and I remember thinking that you two complimented each other beautifully.

  12. Emily, I just found this as I was researching something else entirely. So beautifully written. Your Dad would have loved what your Mom said. He would have been so proud of all of you, you are just such a warm and lively person.Love, Meg