Rosalie (Roz) Kuras passed away after 91 well lived years on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. She was much loved; a supportive mother, an earnest friend and family member. She was the last survivor of her five siblings, bringing up the rear as the youngest of her close-knit family. Roz raised four children; Marjorie, Alan, Richard and Amy, and has six grandchildren who will miss her dearly. Family was an integral part of her life. As her children and siblings moved away, she made sure to stay in close contact, providing support and love.
Music was a constant in Roz’s life as well as her family’s. She serenaded her children on guitar, singing lullabies and folk songs, passing on the love of music and gently encouraging them to study instruments and play together. She gamely tolerated her four children (and her former husband, Victor on the mandolin) learning to play, attending out-of-tune school concerts and the cacophony of the family practicing in the house all at once. She played guitar in the Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra as well as the Senior Quartet giving concerts at libraries and community centers. She served as the president of the Orchestra for many years, ensuring that the organization ran smoothly and efficiently.
Folk dancing was an important part of her life, and an adjunct to her relationship with her Jewish culture growing up. No family gathering was complete without the Mayim or Miserlou. Always game to take a spin on the floor, she participated with her folk dancing group until she left Long Island.
Weight Watchers also played a significant role in her life. As a member and an employee for over 50 years, she worked hard to reach and then maintain her goal weight, while encouraging patrons to stick with the program. She said that if she can’t beat them, she might as well join them. Her family benefited from her regimen, as (other than the Sour cream cake and Mandelbrot), she served healthy meals and taught them how to eat well. When Weight Watchers started advertising the benefits of exercise for health and weight loss, Roz took on fitness with a vengeance, working out at the gym or walking on the Jones Beach boardwalk several times per week. She regularly outperformed her gym mates who were often 30 years her junior.
Roz’s curiosity about the world brought her to many exotic and interesting destinations, including China, Russia, Cuba, Italy, Egypt and Guatemala. She and Victor always sought out educational trips that emphasized not just tourist destinations, but a sense of shared culture and understanding. She passed on that love of travel to her children, who continue to explore and learn.
For over 15 years, Roz taught reading to children in the New York City public schools. While raising four children and working full time, she went back to school for her bachelors at Hofstra University and then master’s at Queen’s College for degrees in education and reading. It is mind boggling to imagine how she managed to juggle all of her responsibilities.
As an activist, Roz stood up for what she believed in, including volunteering with Planned Parenthood as an escort, participating in protests during the Vietnam war, and marching for racial equality and human rights. She regularly donated to organizations such as the ACLU.
The Kuras household was the gathering place for extended family and friends. Roz was a master hostess, preparing Thanksgiving and Passover meals for large groups with apparent ease, figuring out just the right amount of food, nothing too complicated, but always hearty and delicious. She enlisted the help of her guests and adeptly got the work done efficiently and joyfully. She was also known for her baked goods, readily supplying cakes and cookies to anyone who happened by the house, which always was filled with friends and family.
Roz touched the lives of many people, bringing compassion and joy to her relationships. May her memory live on in the lives of all she encountered.
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