Esther Benrubi

On June 27, 2021, our mother, former Coronado resident Esther Benrubi, beloved wife of the late Capt. Lazar Benrubi, died in Moraga, California at the age of 98.

She left behind her children Gioia (Willard) Stark, Charles (Madilyn) Benrubi, Deborah Benrubi, Gabriel (Kinë) Benrubi, and Robert (Karen) Benrubi; her grandchildren Jennifer and Brian Stark, Rebecca, Matthew, and Isabella Benrubi, and Kajsalena Seagrave; and great-grandson Julian Machulsky-Benrubi. 

Esther was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin to Anna and Moishe Rostker, Jewish immigrants from Rozan, Poland, the then-Russian Empire. The youngest of five children, she loved school and her extended Kenosha family, and enjoyed a vivacious social life. She worked as a Red Cross volunteer during World War II, followed by many years of volunteer work for civic and religious organizations, and married a young U.S. Navy officer, embarking on a long, fascinating, demanding life as a Navy wife and devoted mother. Together they travelled and lived around the world, including tours of duty in Tokyo, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan, and up and down both U.S. coasts, settling in Southern California. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013.

Esther was smart, curious, and very funny. She loved Chinese food, Spanish guitar music, the color blue, mystery novels, doing the Jumble in the morning paper, and beautiful clothes, especially shoes. She was a wicked Scrabble player, unmatched by any of us. She loved to laugh and to make others laugh. We miss her so much and always will.

Esther will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, joining her husband there, who died in 1993. Memorial donations may be made to HIAS at (or mail to HIAS, P.O. Box 97077, Washington, DC 20090-7077); or Hospice East Bay at (or mail to Hospice East Bay, 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523).

The family is profoundly grateful to the staff of Hospice East Bay and to Ana Blaj and the staff of Moraga Retreat, who attended to our mother with wonderful, loving care in her last years.

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