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Rosalie L. Israel


1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Rosalie L. Israel Obituary
Rosalie List Israel was a woman ahead of her time, a force nature as friends referred to her. She was born and raised in Fall River, daughter of Celia (Oscar) and Jospeh List, who, along with his brothers, William and Albert, arrived in Fall River as immigrants from eastern Europe and grew into prominent businessmen who gave back to the Fall River community in many ways. After attending college in Cleveland, Rosalie returned to Fall River and married Ernest Israel in 1948. They lived in Fall River until Ernie died in 1984, raising three children: Carol Israel, a psychologist living in Maine; Martha Israel, a nurse living in Vermont, and Thomas Israel, a labor union executive living in Washington DC. Beloved grandchildren followed over the years: Emily Guerin, Benjamin Page, Molly Page, Jonah Guerin, Amos Page, Emma Israel, and Abbie Israel. After Ernie died, Rosalie moved to the Boston area, where she lived until her death on July 25, 2018. She was married for 35 years, then lived alone for 35 years. She thrived throughout both phases of her life. Rosalie was a strong principled, independent woman when those traits werent necessarily admired or expected in women. She started an exercise radio program in the 1950s on WJAR in Fall River with her neighbor, Bea Shapiro, called The Tone-up Twins. Later, she became involved in numerous community social service activities in Fall River, ultimately focusing on elder care, and receiving the Bristol Community College Distinguished Citizen Award in 1982 in recognition of her work in the community. In 2015, Bristol Elder Services dedicated a conference room in her honor, recognizing her years of service to that agency. The Fall River Jewish Home and Ethos Home Care in Boston both benefited from years of her service. She also loved to travel. She and Ernie were part of one of the first travel groups that were allowed into China. They travelled to the Soviet Union, Japan, Senegal, Thailand, and throughout western and eastern Europe. She didnt stop traveling after Ernie died and her adventures took her all over the globe. Her house was filled with small treasures she brought back from her travels: a wooden fertility goddess from Bali, colorful paintings from Mexico, charcoal prints from street artists in Israel, a carved bust from Dakar. Frequently taped to the back of a picture or to the the base of a sculpture, was a photograph of Rosalie standing with the street artist who made it. Her grandchildren in particular were recipients of her travel treasures. Each have doll collections and trinkets from all over the world. All remember the huge map that she kept in her house, with push pins for every place she had travelled. And there were stories and pictures to share for every one. She also loved to learn. She read voraciously, always engrossed in a book, and up until her last days, was reading multiple newspapers a day and keeping up with current events. She took courses for years at various senior colleges in the Boston area and her interests were broad. She loved history and politics, but she also loved theater and art. Once she moved to Boston, she was a regular at the Boston Symphony, the Huntington Theater and the Museum of Fine Arts. She also loved eating out; and she was a regular at many local restaurants, especially in Jamaica Plain where she lived for the majority of her time after Ernie died. She had many friends, and loved their company, but she also liked her own company and had no qualms taking herself out to restaurants, to the theater, to museums, to any event she wanted. She was a strong and loving woman who was beloved by many. Her life is an inspiration to all of us, and she will be deeply missed. Rosalie died at home at 91 years old surrounded by family, as she would have wanted. A private memorial was held for immediate family. She was predeceased by her brother Robert List of Palm Beach, Florida, her sister, Alta List of N. Andover. Mass, and her grandson, Benjamin Israel Page of Montpelier, Vermont. Contributions in her memory can be sent to Bristol Elder Services, Fall River, Ma.
Published in The Herald News on Sept. 9, 2018
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