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Rosalie Rishavy

Rosalie Rishavy, 83, of Howell, Michigan, died after sunset on 31 December 2021.

Rosalie Rishavy, born Rosalie Berman, died in her sleep, surrounded by family, on Friday Dec 31st of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Rosalie will be remembered fondly by her many friends and family as a fierce proponent of equal rights, the rights of workers, and desegregation. She was an avid reader, loved to entertain, and adored her family.

Rosalie was born in Detroit to Faye (Steiner) and Louis Berman. Home with asthma frequently as a child, she learned to love reading and escaped into books. She learned to love the arts and classical music from her Aunt Ida, who took her to plays and concerts. Rosalie graduated from Detroit Central High School in the class of 1957. She met Kenneth Tucker in a music appreciation class while they were both students. Married, she continued her education and achieved a BA from Wayne State University in 1961. When they divorced in the 1970’s, she returned to school and earned her Masters in Education, graduating with both her boys in attendance. She would later use the degree professionally and as a volunteer tutor for students.

Rosalie was true to her commitments to equality. Professionally, she worked for 20 years in the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigating allegations of employment discrimination. As a parent, she brought referendums to the school district to desegregate Oak Park and Royal Oak Township schools. When this repeatedly failed, Rosalie had her own two children bussed every day to Carver Elementary school so that they would grow up appreciating diversity.

Rosalie was introduced to Edward Rishavy by friends at a Michigan Democratic Party fundraiser. They had a loving marriage from 1997 until his death in 2015. The couple enjoyed hosting dinner parties for friends and family, travelling by car to small towns throughout Michigan and New York, spending time in their 2nd home on Lake Huron, attending DSO concerts and other cultural events in Detroit, and many other activities together.

After she retired from the EEOC, Rosalie went back to a previous career as an English and reading teacher, which she continued until 2016. Rosalie will be remembered as the founder of the Bagel and Lox Kentucky Fried Chicken Book Club. Rosalie was a staunch supporter of the Democratic party and liberal social causes her entire life. After she died, her children found that she had long-term monthly contributions to a wide array of different liberal and humanitarian institutions. She may be best remembered for her amazing culinary skills. When people talk about Rosalie they often refer to a specific meal or dessert she prepared for them. Her sons especially remember her apple pies. Her latkes were anticipated every year, and the promise of her matzoh balls ensured her family would gather for Passover.

Rosalie is survived by her two children David Tucker (Laura Strubel), Hadar Tucker (Pat Wells), her sister Evelyn Mack (Charlie Mack), and five grandchildren Rachel, Ethan, Elena, John and Anastasia Tucker. Rosalie was predeceased by her husband Edward Rishavy and her parents Faye (Steiner) and Lou Berman.

The family plans on holding a memorial service at the Temple for Humanistic Judaism (formerly Birmingham Temple) this year, where Rosalie’s ashes will join Edward’s in the Peace Garden. Timing of the memorial will depend on the COVID epidemic. In the meantime, Mourners wishing to honor her memory with a charitable contribution in her name might consider Planned Parenthood, the Michigan Democratic Party, or the Parkinson’s Foundation.