The Washington Post

Selma M. Taffel, statistician and researcher

Selma M. Taffel, 84, who retired in 1995 as a health statistician for the National Center for Health Statistics, died Oct. 23 at her home at Leisure World in Silver Spring.

She had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said her daughter, Shelley Taffel.

Mrs. Taffel worked for nearly 25 years as a researcher and statistician for the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville. She published a number of scholarly articles about caesarean-section deliveries and risk factors affecting pregnancy.

She previously worked as a statistician for the National Civil Defense computer facility in Olney from 1967 to 1970 and for the Bureau of Census’s industry division in Suitland in the mid-to-late 1970s.

She had also done bookkeeping for the Washington Hebrew Congregation and worked as a statistician for the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Selma Munach was born in Brooklyn and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the City University of New York in 1950.

Mrs. Taffel was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society, and received the Elijah White Outstanding Scientist Award from the National Center for Health Statistics in 1990.

She lived in Rockville for 40 years before moving to Silver Spring in 2008.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Samuel Taffel of Silver Spring; two children, Alan Taffel of Vienna and Shelley Taffel of Brooklyn; a sister, Ethel Charo of Moraga, Calif.; a brother, Arnold Munach of Frederick; and three grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

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