Rhoda Rabson (Stern)
We share with you the passing of Rhoda Rabson, our 96-year-old matriarch, on Sept 28, 2017.
Rhoda’s numerous lifetime achievements and accomplishments cannot be expressed in words but rather in her actions. Foremost was raising her three children and six grandchildren to be independent. In July of this year she welcomed her first great grandchild.
Rhoda was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1921, the daughter of Max and Helen. She graduated from Brooklyn College and went to work in public accounting, earning the Certified Public Accounting designation and had a successful career as a CPA, at a time when not many women worked outside the home. In 1951 Rhoda married Edward Rabson, a WW II veteran from Queens, NY and they moved to Washington Heights in Manhattan where they raised their children.
Ed and Rhoda were very active in the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and helped to create the Ethical Humanist Award, which honors extraordinary moral courage. They believed that the place where people meet to seek the highest is holy ground and our actions here on earth are most important.
Ed and Rhoda honeymooned in the Florida Keys and returned many times for vacation during their 50 years of marriage, especially enjoying fishing with their children and grandchildren. They loved museums and theater, especially off-Broadway and even off-off-off Broadway productions. They both loved to read; Ed a devoted fan of science fiction, and Rhoda with a special passion for magazines and the newspaper. Rhoda was an avid reader of the New Yorker magazine, which she subscribed to continuously since the age of 16. Ed and Rhoda loved spending time together and doing things their way, no matter how unconventional.
Ed and Rhoda loved to travel in Europe and the United States and retired in 1984 to allow more time for the activities they loved. After retiring, Rhoda and Ed resided in Manhattan, NY and Big Pine Key, FL with summers in Vermont, eventually moving year-round to Boca Raton, FL.
During their summers in Vermont, Rhoda and Ed swam nearly every day at the YMCA in Burlington, VT, where they met Irv Glass and his wife in 1989. The two couples remained friends, with the happy coincidence of both summering in Vermont and wintering in the same retirement complex in Boca Raton, FL.
Ed passed away in 2001 after a long illness, lovingly cared for by Rhoda. In 2004, Rhoda became reacquainted with Irv, who had also recently lost his wife, also spending nearly a decade caring for his spouse. Rhoda and Irv spent many happy years together in Boca Raton, FL, and moved to Vermont in 2014 to be closer to their children. Both families appreciate the bond, love and support they offered each other during the past 13 years.
Rhoda is survived by her three children, Mark, Joan (Holloway) and John, and their spouses Susan, Tim and Diane; her six grandchildren, Gordon, Amelia and Claire; and Jake, Skyler and Maggie, a son-in-law, Walter, a great grandson, Leo, and a special friend, Irv. In addition to Ed, she was predeceased by her parents, her sister, Blanche Frank, and an infant son, Neil.
The family appreciates the outstanding care provided by Dr Karen Sokol of Community Health Center, the staff at Allenwood Independent Living, and the compassionate care provided by Bayada Hospice at the end of her life.
Rhoda will be missed but lives on as we honor her influence in our lives. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to your favorite public library.