Rona Kushner Balser, 76, passed away on September 22, 2015 at her home in Dunwoody, Georgia, after a nine-month fight with leukemia. She was a beautiful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. But above all, she was a teacher … and her love for science and art is her legacy.
Rona grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland and was an honor student in Biology at the University of Maryland. There she met Bill Balser in 1957. They were pinned in ‘58, engaged in ‘59 and married in ‘61. Rona taught Biology at Patterson High School in Baltimore until it was time to begin raising a family. When her daughters were young, Rona began creating works of art in various mediums, and taught children’s art classes in their home. Her daughters’ friends will remember her as the Art Mom.
In 1977, they moved to Atlanta, where Rona again immersed herself in learning, teaching and helping others. In the late 70s, she volunteered to help many Russian families resettle in Atlanta. A life-long learner and avid reader, she was an active member of the Hillside-Sinai book club, a bi-racial, bi-religious book club, and she helped found the Temple Sinai Book Club, in which she stayed active until her final days. Rona worked in educational sales for 10 years, and she and Bill found time to travel the world and explore new places. Once she had grandchildren, Rona would volunteer to bring interesting science topics into her grandsons’ classes at Temple Sinai preschool and The Galloway School. Her grandsons’ friends will remember her as the Science Grandma.
She lived life with a joy and spirit of curiosity that never diminished. She continued her practice in the arts, specifically in ceramics, and began selling her pottery in various shops around Atlanta. Rona was blessed with twin granddaughters just 6 years ago, and her family’s mission now is to ensure the girls understand the love and beauty and enduring strength of their grandmother.
Rona was preceded in death by her parents Reeva and Max Kushner. She is survived by her loving husband, Bill; daughters, Gloria Southerland (Ken), and Sherry Hoban (Mike); grandchildren, Max and Jake Goldwasser, and Rachel and Caroline Hoban; and sisters, Phyllis Wolowitz, and Harriet Lawrence (Mike).
Funeral services will be held at 12 noon, Friday, September 25th at Temple Sinai, with Rabbi Brad Levenberg officiating. Burial will follow at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. Sign on line guest book at www.edressler.com . In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, www.lls.org. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta 770-451-4999