In his later years, he often quoted from Ecclesiastes: "There is a time for everything...a season to be born and a season to die." Ninety-six years after his birth, and at a time when he was still very much of sound mind and cogent voice, Julian Rashkind's life lived well and fully came to an end, on April 26, 2012.
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The son of the late Nathan and Ida Picker Rashkind, he was predeceased by his younger brothers, Edwin and Harvey, and by the love of his life, his best friend and constant companion, his wife of 62 years, Eleanor Brody Rashkind. For all the accomplishments and achievements of his many years, nothing was more important to him than family, and he is survived by a proud family composed of his three children (and their spouses), Alan (Suzette), Michael (Lee) and Lisbeth (Chris); he was always "Paw Paw" to his six grandsons (and their wives), Jacob (Skye), Graham (Cameron), Daniel, Douglas, Stephen and James; and to his six great-grandchildren, Ethan, Nathan, Lily, Lucas, Mia and Harper. He is also survived by Edwin's widow, Madelaine, and Eleanor's sister, Doris, and her husband Martin, as well as so many nephews, nieces and cousins that space does not permit them all to be listed here, but all of them will also miss their uncle or cousin Julian.
Julian was born and raised in Jamaica, New York, and his life spanned two centuries, eleven decades, seventeen U.S. Presidents, the Great Depression, two world wars, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the development of the automotive and aviation industries, women's suffrage, the enactment and repeal of Prohibition, the civil rights era, the internet, the revitalization of Ghent and the launching of light rail in Norfolk, and numerous societal developments that we take for granted but at which he marveled.
Julian was an Eagle Scout at 17, and at 20 graduated from Columbia University's College of Pharmacy, as the youngest member and secretary of his class. He worked for the Boy Scouts of America in New York, and then joined the service where he rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving in the Judge Advocate's Corp. After the service, he joined his father-in-law, Jacob Brody, in the building business, and moved to Norfolk. Over time, he became a pillar of his adopted community, ultimately serving as President and later Trustee Emeritus of the Tidewater Builder's Association, and for 20 years on Norfolk's Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 17 years as its Chair. He was a Director of the Home Builders Association of Virginia, and a Senior Life Director of the National Association. His civic and philanthropic endeavors were not limited to the building business. He was a founder and trustee, and served since 1997 as Honorary President of Temple Israel; he was one of the first Presidents of the Jewish Community Center; chaired the United Jewish Fund, and held leadership positions with Beth Sholom Home, the National Jewish Welfare Board, and the United Jewish Federation. He very much enjoyed his participation in the Jewish Philanthropic group, the 400 Club. He was a steadfast supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, serving on the Executive Board of the Tidewater Council and as a National Council Member. He also held governing positions on the Norfolk Symphony Association, the Edgewater Turney Home for Boys and Girls, Child and Family Services, and the Planning Council of the United Community Fund. He adopted his sons' alma mater, Randolph-Macon College, serving first as President of its Parents Advisory Council, and later as a long-time trustee of the College, and remained a trustee emeritus who until his passing insisted on carefully reading every word of the literature the College would send out to current trustees.
His contributions to the community and civic and philanthropic endeavors were recognized by numerous awards. He received the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews; he was a recipient of the B'Nai Brith Distinguished Service Award; from the Jewish Community Center, the Krug Award and the Thomas L. Hofheimer Humanitarian Award; from the Tidewater Builders Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award; from the Boy Scouts of America, the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award; and from Randolph-Macon College, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, an Honorary Alumnus Award, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws.
The family extends its thanks to the staff at Harbor's Edge, especially to his friends on the second floor, and to Annie Brown, all of whom befriended Julian, and provided care and companionship which he and his family so appreciated.
A memorial service, officiated by Rabbi Michael E. Panitz, followed by a meal of consolation, will be held at Temple Israel, 7255 Granby Street, Norfolk, beginning at 3 p.m., on Sunday, April 29. The service and meal will be preceded by a private burial. Arrangements will be handled by the Norfolk Chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. on Colonial Avenue in Norfolk. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Boy Scouts of America (Tidewater Council), Randolph-Macon College, Temple Israel or Tidewater Builders Association Scholarship Foundation.
The family will receive condolence calls at the home of Michael and Lee Rashkind in Virginia Beach on Monday and Tuesday evenings April 30 and May 1 from 7 until 9 p.m. Online Condolences may be shared with the family at www.hdoliver.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Apr. 27, 2012