Rona Beth Malofsky
Rona Beth Malofsky (nee Cohen) was surrounded by love when she died at Agrace Hospice in Madison on September 5, 2019. Rona was born to Sam and Edythe Cohen in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 28, 1935 – Thanksgiving Day. For her entire life she believed that the fourth Thursday in November was a national holiday in her honor!
Rona was married Harvey Malofsky for 55 years, he preceded her in death in 2013. Together they had a love of the arts, travel, good food & drinks, friends and family. For their fiftieth anniversary they went to Las Vegas and had their vows renewed by an Elvis Impersonator.
Rona is survived by her children; Lyn (Jessica Perez) of Middleton, Michael (Sara) of Verona, Janna Papermaster (David) of Milwaukee, Ann (Bill Shaw) of Scottsdale, Arizona, and adoring grandchildren Ethan Malofsky, Sam, Jesse, Ari, and Izabella Papermaster, and Jackson and Milo Shaw. And many, many friends.
Although pancreatic cancer is considered Rona’s official cause of death, she was truly aggravated to death by the lack of kindness, civility and justice being demonstrated in the leadership of our country. She was a compassionate person who believed in fairness, honesty and opportunities for all and was incensed about how so many in our country are treated. She was a strong advocate for those living with mental illness and with developmental disabilities.
Rona attended Shorewood High School in Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin, Madison earning a degree in Social work, but Rona’s true calling was to be a volunteer extrordanaire. Rona chaperoned many field trips with countless visits to Circus World Museum and the Fish Hatchery and was active with Girl Scouts. She was docent at the Chazen Museum of Art (formerly Elvehjem) and especially enjoyed giving tours to fourth graders because they asked good questions. Rona also volunteered for WHA television with the Arts and Antiques Auction. Rona was active at Temple Beth El with the Art Committee and cooked for and served at the annual Sisterhood Food-a-Rama where she was known as one of the “Blintzes Princesses” and was an expert fluffer. Rona was also involved with the Jewish Federation and Hadassah, and for many years was on the wine auction committee for Tandem Press.
Among her favorite things in life were her friends of which she had many going all the way back to childhood. From her weekly Mah jong partners, Door County travel companions, bowling ladies, art trips, and those from the variety of organizations where Rona served as a volunteer were important in her life.
The biggest irony of Rona having pancreatic cancer is that she lost her appetite. Rona loved most things involving food and bringing food was the first thing that we all thought of to bring Rona for comfort. It’s what she would have done. She coached us from the sofa and her bed on how to make some of her favorites. It wasn’t just about the food though, Rona loved when family and community came together from dreaming up menus, grocery shopping (at least 2-3 stores each day!) cooking and baking, setting the table and serving. It has been said that Rona essentially conducted an orchestra from the kitchen of her home.
When her parents, Edythe and Sam were ill, Rona made countless trips to Florida to take care of them. Her devotion to her parents showed us how much love goes into caring for loved ones at the end of life. And we hope that we have done the same for her. But we didn’t do it alone. Thank you to the amazingly warm & caring people from Agrace Hospice who made sure that Rona was always comfortable. Thank you also to the many friends and family members who reached out with visits, cards, phone calls flowersand texts. This all meant a great deal to Rona and made her feel “really loved.”
Funeral services will take place at Temple Beth El, 2702 Arbor Drive on September 9, 2019 at 10:00 o’clock a.m. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery and then all are invited to join in a meal of consolation luncheon back at Temple Beth El.
Shivah minyans will be held Monday and Tuesday at the Malofsky Residence 6:30 p.m.
Rona requested, that instead of flowers donations be made to Agrace Hospice, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 5311 or The Larry Kohn Chair of Jewish Learning Fund at Temple Beth El, 2702 Arbor Drive, Madison, 53711.
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