Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Rosalie Lefkowitz's memorial

Rosalie Lefkowitz
April 4, 1929-June 24, 2024
Palo Alto, California

Rosalie Lefkowitz, née Coblentz, 95, of Palo Alto died June 24, 2024, at home of natural causes with her family beside her.

Born on April 4, 1929, to Lambert and Dorothy Coblentz, Rosalie grew up in San Francisco with her sister Elizabeth. As a child, Rosalie enjoyed playing tennis, riding horses in Golden Gate Park and spending time with cousins and friends. She attended Madison School and Lowell High School, graduating from Lowell in 1946. She also attended Sunday School at Congregation Emanuel. Rosalie attended Stanford University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1949. She received a medical technology credential from UC Berkeley and worked as a medical technologist and phlebotomist in hospitals in San Francisco and Washington DC. Rosalie enjoyed singing in choirs and learning the piano. She also took classes in advanced mathematics at UC Berkeley. Rosalie met her future husband, Benjamin Lefkowitz on a blind date. They were married at her mother’s house in San Francisco in December 1957. The wedding was delayed as Ben forgot the marriage license at his apartment across town. Fortunately, the guests were kept entertained by watching the Forty Niners play the Detroit Lions in the Western Conference playoff at Kezar Stadium below the wedding near Twin Peaks. In 1959, Rosalie and Ben moved to Menlo Park, California, to be near Ben’s job at Stanford Research Institute (SRI.) After the birth of their daughter Debbie in 1959, Rosalie and Ben purchased a home in South Palo Alto near the families of Rosalie’s sister Elizabeth Mallory and Ben’s sister Ann Blachman. Their son Matthew was born on Valentine’s Day 1961. The Lefkowitz, Blachman and Mallory families were very close, celebrating Thanksgiving and other holidays together for the next 30 years.

Ben’s job took the family to Sweden in for four months in 1964 and to France for a year in 1965.

Rosalie was active in the League of Women Voters, working on a variety of state and local policy initiatives. She also volunteered with several environmental organizations and was a member at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. She and Ben also had season tickets to the American Conservatory Theatre (in ACT) for many years.

Rosalie returned to school and received a master’s in computer mathematics in 1977 from San Jose State University. After graduation, she worked for over ten years as a FORTRAN programmer for several programming firms at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. After the children left home, Rosalie and Ben enjoyed traveling; taking trips to Europe, the Southwest and the East Coast. They also loved attending plays in Ashland every year with Palo Alto friends.

After Ben was diagnosed with ALS in 1988. Rosalie retired from her programming career to care for him. After Ben’s death 1990, Rosalie volunteered as a bird counter, bander and research statistician at The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. She also traveled with friends throughout the US and in Canada, Costa Rica, South America and Antarctica in search of new and exotic bird discoveries.

Rosalie was an active member of the South Bay Mac User Group (SMUG), attending monthly meetings to get the early word on new software and hardware.

She was a tutor at Avenidas, teaching seniors how to use word processing and email programs. She celebrated her lifelong love of music by attending concerts and lectures at the Music at Menlo Festival each summer.

She also enjoyed spending time with her grandsons Ben and Jacob Lefkowitz.

Rosalie is survived by daughter Debbie Lefkowitz, son Matthew Lefkowitz and daughter-in-law Ann Comoglio of San Francisco, by grandsons Benjamin Lefkowitz of Washington DC, and Jacob Lefkowitz of San Francisco, and by nephews Seth and Tracy Mallory, and nieces Susan and Nancy Blachman.

Matt and Debbie are grateful to Rosalie’s care-givers Ofa Tuita and Gertrudes ‘Gigi’ Bascal for their years of devoted service to our mother.

1 entry Submit a remembrance
From Matthew Lefkowitz
June 24, 2024
Nice photo of Rosalie Lefkowitz from a birding trip in the Antelope Valley, 1991.
Make a donation
In lieu of flowers or other gifts of condolence, please donate to any of the following causes: The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). Link: The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO). Link: The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto (LWV). Link: Save the Bay. Link: Music at Menlo. Link:

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