Rachel Shamos Glazer passed away at home in Atlanta March 26, 2020, at the age of 102. A native of Atlanta, she was born November 23, 1917, the fourth of five children born to Dvora and Jacob Shamos, who had immigrated to Atlanta from Ternovke, Ukraine. As a child, she lived in the back of her parents’ store on Nelson Street in the West End neighborhood and attended the Arbeiter Ring Yiddish language school.
She attended Girls’ High and was a double major in chemistry and math at Agnes Scott College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa during the Depression and continuing her summer job as salesperson at Rich’s department store. In 1937, at the age of 19, she got a job as an elementary school teacher in Atlanta, and that same year she married Isaac Joseph Glazer (1911-1990), whom she had met at the Atlanta Public Library.
After they were married, Joe attended and graduated from dental school at Emory and then served as a dentist in the Army during World War II. During his service, Rachel and Joe lived at Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla., in Nashville, Tenn., and Daytona Beach, Fla. Joe and Rachel returned to Atlanta after the war, where they settled in Ansley Park and raised three children.
Rachel was active in the Jewish community as a member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue and she served as local programming chair for Hadassah, the Jewish women’s organization. In the 1960s Rachel went back to school at Georgia State, brushing up on math. After learning assembly language in the one computer course she took, she began working in 1966 in the actuarial department at Alexander & Alexander as the firm’s only female programmer. She went on to teach computer programming at Atlanta Technical College from 1968 until her retirement in 1982.
During her retirement, Rachel stayed busy, visiting her children and grandchildren; traveling to Israel and to Europe; tutoring elementary school students in math and science; and joining a Torah study group at A.A. synagogue, among other pursuits.
She also belonged to a Sunday morning discussion group at the Royal Bagel, attending nearly weekly for more than two decades. During her lifetime, she saw dramatic transformations in the world. As a small child, she was allowed to cross the street on her own because cars were so rare. Customers shopped for food daily at her family’s store because they didn’t have refrigerators.
In recent years, she enjoyed talking to her children and grandchildren on Skype video calls, expressing amazement at being able to connect with her family around the world from her computer in Atlanta. Rachel Glazer was the last surviving sibling of her generation and was aunt to six nephews and nieces and great-aunt to 13 grand-nephews and nieces.
She is survived by her children Charlotte (Michael Baer) of Washington, D.C., Sarah (Al Furst) of Cambridge, Mass., and Samuel (Elise Siegel) of New York, N.Y.; three grandchildren, Daniel, Naomi, and Juliet; and a great-grandson Aulu, whom she met for the first time last month. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.