LESTER ROSEN, beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend, passed away Saturday afternoon, March 29. Even at 89, he was still filled with a zeal for life and an energy level found in men half his age.
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He was married for 64 years to his lifelong sweetheart, Toby, and together they raised and forever loved their children David, Cindy and Richard. He adored his grandchildren Alysa Rosen, Danny Fratina, Dov Rosen, Michael Fratina and Lauren Fratina, and was looking forward to the marriage of Danny to Micha Goolsby, and to holding his just-born first great-grandbaby, Brooks.
Lester was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to David and Nettye Singerman-Rosen, but lived most of his childhood in Houston. After attending San Jacinto High School, he served as secretary to Lieutenant-General Walter Krueger in the United States Army in the Philippines, where he was honored with numerous medals including several Bronze Stars.
Returning to Houston, he worked for Kabro, a leading dress manufacturer. This began a lifelong career in the women's wear industry which ultimately led to 32 years in Dallas as President of Fortune Designs. Lester and Toby returned to Houston in 1997 after their son, David, became Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Yeshurun.
At Beth Yeshurun, Lester became a familiar and beloved face to members of all ages. For 16 years, he and Toby led the highly-successful YES group for seniors and involved themselves in activities and programs of every kind both at the synagogue and throughout the Jewish and non-Jewish community. In addition to volunteering at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center each week, they also co-chaired the annual Christmas lunch for the patients and their relatives. To the end of his life, Lester remained active, enthusiastic and deeply-committed to all the projects in which he played vital roles.
Lester was preceded in death by his parents, by his step-mother who actually raised him, Annie Goldman, and by his brothers Gus Rosen (and Dorothy), Reuben Goldman (and Renee) and Sigmund Goldman (and Marilyn), and his sister Eva Levine (and Sparky).
The family wishes to extend its heartfelt appreciation to Lester's longstanding and exceptionally-caring physicians, Dr. Alan Cororve, Dr. Richard Goldfarb and Dr. Stuart Solomon, whose combined efforts undoubtedly added many years to his life; to the wonderful doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist Hospital's NICU, CCU and Rehabilitation units; and to the caring staff at Seven Acres.
The funeral will take place at Congregation Beth Yeshurun on Monday, March 31, at 1 p.m. Burial service will be private. Shivah details can be found at www.bethyeshurun.org or by calling the synagogue (713-666-1881).
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Published in Houston Chronicle on Mar. 31, 2014