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After a protracted and courageous battle with cancer, Bobbi Lewis succumbed to the disease April 19, 2002, at the age of 58; yet she should not be remembered by the illness which took her life but rather by the life she lived and the lives she effected. Even some of her closest friends might be surprised to find that in Syracuse, NY, on May 13, 1943, she was born Barbara Epstein. In choosing to become Bobbi with an "i" she created a name which expressed her decidedly unique personality. This 5' tall powerhouse parlayed her Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications into the Junior Executive position of Director of Scheduling and Promotions at WCBS TV-Channel 2, in an era when women were not allowed equal footing with men. Then years later after raising her two children she took another job in broadcasting, that of receptionist at WRKL, Rockland's own radio station. She went on to become Station Manager then, in 1985, when Betty Ramey, WRKL's owner, decided to sell the station, Bobbi put together a group of investors, purchased the company and became President and co-owner. Three years later she and her original group of investors purchased WZFM, 107.1, in Briarcliff Manor, NY - the former home of Howard Stern. She again became President and co-owner of the station. Bobbi also loved to have fun. While her children were in elementary school she joined an amateur theatrical group. She managed to have a ball and "sing" in the chorus in all of the musicals although it is rumored that the response to her auditions most likely became the genesis of an idea she developed for the United Way - The Celebrity Lip Sync fund raiser. She was also the woman who in true Bobbi fashion purchased a house in Colorado and promptly bought an entire ski outfit even though she had no intention of learning how to ski. If Bobbi had had a credo it would have been, "Put others first and yourself second." She was devoted to helping those in need and was resolute in her dedication to numerous non-profit organizations. Even a stranger to our area would be made aware of her charity, by virtue of the fact that there is the Bobbi Lewis, Jawonio group home; the Bobbi Lewis Cancer Program at Good Samaritan Hospital and a lobby at the Provident Bank United Hospice Bereavement Center which has been dedicated in her name. The ancient Greeks didn't write obituaries instead they asked only one question, "Did a person have passion?" The following are not only the measure of a life lived with passion but more examples of the impact Bobbi had on our County: Affiliations American Cancer Society of Rockland - Unit Board of Directors. Past delegate of NY State Division. Past Vice Chair and Board Member of the Rockland Business Association. Past Vice Chair and Charter Board member of Leadership Rockland. A member of the Good Samaritan Hospital Board of Trustees. Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Executive Committee. Past RocklandFest Executive Board member. Past United Way of Rockland Board of Trustees (originator and producer of the Celebrity Lip Sync fund raiser). Chair of Rockland Bicentennial Opening Day Ceremony. Honors Reuben Gittleman Hebrew Day School - Person of the Year, 2002 Good Samaritan Hospital - Medal of Honor, 2000 Penguin Rep - Community Award 1998 Jawonio names one of its residences The Bobbi Lewis Home 1995 Association for the Visually Impaired of Rockland Honoree, 1995 Communication Professionals of Rockland - Communicator of the Year, 1995 Asian - Americans Organization of Rockland - Humanitarian of the Year, 1995 Jawonio - Friends of Jawonio Award 1993 Rockland Cooperative Extension - Community Service Honoree, 1991 B'Nai B'rith - Youth Services Award, 1991 American Heart Association, Rockland Chapter - Circle of Hearts Ball Honoree, 1988 Rockland Business and Professional Women's Association - Woman of the Year, 1988 Association of Retarded Citizens -Citizenship Award, 1988 Rockland Cornell Cooperative Extension - Friend of Extension, 1987 Bobbi graced the life of her husband, Barry; her son Eric, his wife Shira and their sons Jesse, and Shawn; her daughter Marne, her husband Paul Spingola and their son Samuel; her sister Paula Bellack of Denver, CO; her brother Jerry Epstein of Deltona, FL; three nieces, one nephew and a community of friends who will remember Bobbi for her love and kindness, her laughter, and her style. She was a true mitzvah -a blessing to all who knew her. You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and wish she could come back or you can open your eyes and see all she has left. Your heart can be empty because you can't see her or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy because of yesterday. You can remember her and only that she is gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on. Anonymous A funeral service will be held 1 pm, Sunday, April 21, 2002 at the New City Jewish Center, 43 Old School House Road, New City, NY. Her burial will follow at Gate of Zion Cemetery, Monsey, NY. From Sunday to Thursday, her family will sit Shiva at the home of her son Eric who resides at 5 Waverly Court, New City, NY. Donations may be made to the Bobbi Lewis Cancer Program in care of Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, NY. In her memory, her family will make donations to numerous non-profit organizations. Some include: United Hospice of Rockland, Reuben Gittleman Hebrew Day School, The Bobbi Lewis Jawonio House, The American Cancer Society, the Yeshiva of Rockland County, the Jewish Education Program, The Rockland County YMHA, the Penguin Rep. Company, People to People, and Meals on Wheels. HELLMAN MEMORIAL CHAPELS 15 State Street, Spring Valley (845)356-8600

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Published in The Journal News on Apr. 20, 2002.
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