1920 - 2012
On Sunday, April 15, Lola Rozsa passed away peacefully to her final home in heaven. She was predeceased by her husband, Ted Rozsa in 2006; her parents, Reverend Charles and Nannie Estes; sisters Lillian Estes, Eleanor McCullough (Mac), Ann Hart (Ed), Ruth Mitchell (Tom), and brothers John Dillon Estes and Charles Morris Estes. Lola was born in Hobart, Oklahoma on February 26, 1920. As the youngest daughter of a Presbyterian minister, the strength of family and importance of church community formed the foundation of her life. Lola easily established new friendships and developed her natural gift of truly listening to everyone she met. She rarely forgot a name despite the fact that she lived in many homes in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas, during her childhood years. Lola married her husband in 1939 and continued the pattern of moving frequently. Life with Ted meant following seismic crews across the United States, relocating at least forty times before arriving in Calgary in 1949. Since Lola always sang in a church choir with her family, she immediately joined the Chancel Choir in her new church home, Grace Presbyterian Church, becoming a faithful member for thirty-two years. She was active in Mac 14 Theatre (now known as Theatre Calgary) and also performed with the American Women's Club. In 1955, Lola became one of the founding members, and later president, of the Calgary Philharmonic Society Women's League, where she helped create the school children's concerts and the Benny the Bookworm fund raiser, both initiatives which still exist today. After twenty-five years as an active volunteer, she and Ted turned their focus to philanthropic contributions to the CPO as well as many other arts organizations. They ensured that a fine acoustic hall was built on the campus of the University of Calgary. Although the venue bears their surname, The Rozsa Centre is informally known as "Lola's Place". Lola has been affectionately called the "Grandmother of Golf". She and Ted were charter members of the Canyon Meadows Golf Club, where she helped organize the women's section. After joining the Calgary Golf & Country Club, Lola continued helping with women's golf, eventually becoming the president of the ladies section there. Later she assumed the role of president of the Calgary Ladies Golf Association and then went on to hold a number of positions, including that of president, on the Alberta Ladies Golf Association Board. In 1986, Lola was elected to the Ladies National Golf Board in capacity of Teams Director. She gave many golf rules seminars, was the Honorary (and playing) Chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Golf Tournament for many years, and eventually established a golf scholarship for the Alberta Golf Association to assist aspiring young golfers. In 1988, Lola was listed in the The World's Who's Who of Women. She was named a Woman of Distinction in 2001, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Calgary in 2002. In 2008, The Golf Association of Alberta presented Lola with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Lola is survived by her two daughters, Ruth Ann Rayner, and Mary Rozsa de Coquet; and son Ted and wife Diana; all of whom reside in Calgary. She will be lovingly remembered by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Karen Rice (Jim - children Tristan and Emma); Mary Cristina Rozsa de Coquet; Charles and Zachary Rozsa; who also live in Calgary; Howie Nordstrom of Sweden; Scott Rozsa (Paige - children Evan and Satchel) of Dallas, Texas; T.J. Rozsa of Los Angeles, California; Stacy Rozsa of New York, New York. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Mildred Estes of Sherman, Texas, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children. Lola will be remembered for her love of life, charismatic personality and remarkable memory. She never forgot her humble origins and always recognized the people "behind the scenes" with gratitude. Lola and her family are deeply grateful to Sally Jeslava, Amy Praxides and Paul Bugden for their help and friendship. Memorial Services will be held at Grace Presbyterian Church (1009 - 15 Avenue S.W.), Tuesday, April 24 at 3:30 p.m. (Please note change in time). Forward condolences through www.hffs.com . If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, we encourage a contribution may be made to a charity of your choice in Lola's memory.
Published in The Calgary Herald from Apr. 16 to Apr. 22, 2012