Mrs. Karchmer was born in Springfield, Ill., and spent much of her childhood in Utica, N.Y. Her father’s career as a manager of department stores moved the family to Wilmington, Del., for her last year of high school. She graduated with a B.A. from Mills College in New York City and earned an M.A. in education at Adelphi College. In 1960, after she was diagnosed with a muscular condition irritated by Long Island’s wet weather, she and her husband moved their family to Tucson.
A longtime elementary and music teacher, Mrs. Karchmer worked with K-2 students in the Tucson Unified School District for 20 years and became a music mentor for other teachers. She was an active member of Congregation Anshei Israel, on the board of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, and supported the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. Despite living with Alzheimer’s disease, she played and sang tunes from the Great American Songbook, without sheet music, at her assisted living community in Scottsdale until less than a year ago.
Mrs. Karchmer was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, Harry G. Karchmer.
Survivors include her children, Karin Bricker of Palo Alto, Calif., and Harvey Karchmer of Scottsdale, Ariz.; brothers, Norman and Jack Leventhal, and sister, Vida Klein; three grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A graveside service was held at Evergreen Cemetery with Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny of Congregation Anshei Israel officiating.