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Muriel Sirken
1927 - 2015

The Muriel Sirken Child Care Scholarship Fund

The Muriel Sirken Child Care Scholarship Fund was established in 2024, by Alec Sirken, in memory of his mother, Muriel.  The fund provides year-long child care scholarships to low-income families in the greater Washington DC area.

Muriel Sanger Sirken, artist, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend, led a life of boundless curiosity that fueled her zest for adventure.  During her lifetime, she and her husband, Irving Sirken, who worked for the World Bank, travelled to more than 20 countries together.  Occasionally, Muriel taught art classes to locals in their host countries. On one such trip, she arranged to hold a series of lectures and discussions in Shanghai, China on the topic of "The Development of Western Art from the Renaissance to the Present." Muriel loved connecting with and learning about other people and she looked forward to the exchange of ideas that these trips brought.

 

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An accomplished painter and sculptor, Muriel was known for bringing people together and frequently hosted dinner parties that included delicious home-cooked meals and stimulating conversation.  She had a knack for hosting and guests felt, instantly, at home at her table. She had an unwavering dedication to enriching the lives of others through art and education and was an inspiration to many. Her passion for giving to others lives on through the Muriel Sirken Child Care Scholarship Fund which supports families by making safe, quality child care affordable for parents, enabling them to work or attend college and, ultimately, to achieve life goals and thrive.

Honor a parent (or parental figure) by making a donation to the Muriel Sirken Child Care Fund.  Tell us about the person you are honoring or remembering so we can add their name to our Wall of Honor at the bottom of this page.  

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Muriel Sirken Child Care Scholarship Fund
Wall of Honor

In Honor Of
Doris Alexander

Submitted by Debbie Brown

My mother, Doris Alexander, grew up in Washington DC, largely without her own mother, who struggled with depression and was institutionalized when Doris was young.  I have always been awed by how well she managed as a mother, given that her own mother was mostly absent from her life until much later.  Doris managed the finances in our home and even though she and my dad lived on a shoe-string budget, she always kept our family of six on track.  In between cooking, keeping house and taking care of us kids, she found time to hold many leadership roles – in her children’s schools and after-school activities and in her church.  She never said no if something important needed her attention.  Doris loved meeting people from all walks of life.  Although she and my dad never set foot outside of the U.S. until much later in life, they hosted people from all over the world (Madagascar, Nigeria, Costa Rico, Argentina, Denmark and China, to name some,) through various organizations.  Once her children were all in school, Doris worked part-time as a secretary at several Prince Georges County Schools.  On Christmas morning, she was always the last to finish opening presents due to the many small gifts given to her by teachers and students alike.  Once my father retired, they traveled extensively and they continued to be active, serving in many volunteer roles.  Doris was a docent for the National Art Gallery, for the Frederick Historical Society and she and my father became master gardeners in their retirement.  She once told me she would have loved to serve in politics if the times had allowed for greater opportunities for women – especially for women with children.  I know she would have done an impressive job.  At 94 years of age, she works out regularly, has learned to play pinochle in the last year, scrapbooks, has taken up knitting and still enjoys traveling – especially when it involves celebrating milestones with others.  Her optimism, adventurous spirit, generosity and work ethic inspire me every day.

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