Shirley G. Rudney, economist and French teacher, dies at 90

June 21, 2013

Shirley G. Rudney, an economist who taught French for about a decade after retiring from the Labor Department, died June 7 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in the District. She was 90.

The cause was cancer, said her son, Robert Rudney. She was a Washington resident.

Mrs. Rudney worked for the Labor Department from 1966 to 1982 and specialized in employment issues. She later taught French to children at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington and to adults at the Chevy Chase Community Center.

Shirley Eleanor Greifer was a native of Hartford, Conn., and a 1943 graduate of City College of New York.

She settled in the Washington area in 1952 and, in the early years of her career, worked in constituent services for Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) and as a legislative assistant to Sen. Thomas C. Hennings Jr. (D-Mo.).

In the 1980s, she received a certificate in French studies, language and civilization from the Sorbonne in Paris. She also took classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington.

Mrs. Rudney was an usher at the Kennedy Center and volunteered in the office of then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her memberships included the Woman’s National Democratic Club and the League of Women Voters.

Her husband of 51 years, Gabriel Rudney, died in 1998. Survivors include two children, Robert Rudney of Vienna and Sally Rudney of Takoma Park; and five grandchildren.

— Emily Langer