The Montclair community turned out for a memorial service Sunday to remember and celebrate Arlene Linetzky, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident while walking across Bloomfield Avenue on Tuesday night.
The plaintive sounds of a lone djembe drum and song began the service at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, where the Linetzky was an active member for years. The temple was filled with more than 450 mourners.
Numerous photos of Linetzky in picture frames greeted mourners as the entered the temple. The temple’s rabbi, Steven Kushner, led the service.
For more than an hour, Kushner, friends and her only son, Jason, took turns speaking about Linetzky which evoked both tears and laughter from the mourners.
“She was very warm and very generous with her time,” said Debbie Dorfman, a longtime friend. “She endeared herself to everyone. She was adventurous and always wanted to explore and learn.”
The 64-year-old Montclair resident and grandmother was known for her boundless energy and tenacity, said many of the speakers. And her blond, short curly hair and blue eyes gave evidence of her unique personality.
Linetzky formerly worked at the Benjamin Moore paint company for about 20 years and later headed a subsidiary of the company. Linetzky more recently spent her time offering art workshops for children. Her interest in art was variegated, said her son, and included jewelry, watercolors, beading and sculpting with clay.
“She was called the Clay Lady,” said her son.
Linetzky “could make her way into a lot of different circles,” said Kushner. Among other hobbies and interests, she frequented the local YMCA where she would swim with friends.
“She did all that she could to enrich our daily lives,” said Linetzky's son. “She will be a part of our lives always.”
The diverse turnout of friends and students was a “direct reflection ... of the way in which Arlene touched people’s lives,” said Kushner. “And I don’t think she ... had any idea about how many people she impacted.”
The accident, said Linetzky's son Jason, “was shocking, but it is positive to see how many people are here [at the ceremony]."
Linetzky was reportedly crossing Bloomfield Avenue outside of a crosswalk when she was hit by a Lexus SUV Tuesday night around 8:45 p.m. near the Wellmont Theatre.
She was transferred to University Hospital that evening. She later died soon after midnight on Thursday, according to a spokesperson for University Hospital.
The driver of the Lexus was a 54-year-old Bloomfield woman, said Montclair Police Captain James Carlucci that night.
The Montclair Police Department has yet to release information surrounding the circumstances of the accident.