Tanya Rosenblatt, 80, died July 9, 2020. Her son said, “Today we lost the strongest woman I ever knew. My Mom finally lost her long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 80 years old.
My mom Tanya Jean Lefko was born in Cleveland, Ohio. When she was very young, the family picked up roots to follow the American dream and settled in Savannah, Ga. The family went into the gaming (billiards, cigarettes and arcade games) business along with running a restaurant on Tybee Island during the summers. I’ve heard many great stories of her, her sister Shirley and their cousins, Gary and Stuart, causing a significant amount of mischief through the years. When it was time to go off to college, Mom settled on the University of Georgia. Mom joined Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and then became a sweetheart at Alpha Epsilon Pi, where she met my Dad. They got married shortly after and had my oldest brother.
While my Dad was in law school, my mom finished her Bachelor of Science in education. From there it was off to the big city of Atlanta. After my brother and I came along, Mom went back to teaching. She joined the staff at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, where she remained for over 30 years and developed a program for special needs children transitioning from kindergarten to first grade.
Although our lives were filled with a lot of financial ups and downs, my brothers and I never really knew it. Somehow Mom did the impossible to give us a great life, juggling being a full-time teacher, going back for her master’s degree and continually pushing us to succeed to make sure our lives would be open to opportunities that she never had.
The two things I know Mom was most proud of were her three boys and her students. She worked tirelessly on both and felt very strongly about helping people and making a difference. I’ve lost track of the number of times her past students and parents of students would come up to her when they saw her out at a movie theater or restaurant to let her know what a difference she made in their lives and how they wouldn’t be where they are today without her. I know I certainly wouldn’t.
After we lost my Dad suddenly, there were certainly a number of gentleman callers. Fortunately, Mom found one of the true good guys in Edward Rosenblatt. It was love from the beginning and they had several great years together before the effects of Alzheimer’s really kicked in. We certainly should all be so lucky to have the love that they shared, and they definitely made the most of their time. I can remember calling on several occasions to see what they had done this past week only to hear a long list of things, such as going to the movies, dinner followed by dancing and spending the weekend in the Highlands, N.C.
All I could think of was that I was doing it wrong. Although they didn’t have as much time as they should have together, they certainly didn’t get cheated. Ed was a true blessing in my mom’s life and I’m thankful every day for him.
Although she’ll be missed, she’ll certainly not be forgotten. Along with her sister Shirley, her husband Ed and her three sons, she leaves behind three amazing daughters-in-law and six granddaughters.
The first feminist I ever knew, she was always quick to stick up for anyone that was being treated unfairly or being bullied. She was tough but loving and you never had to guess where you stood with her. She definitely had the biggest impact on my life, and I’ll miss her very much. Her memory is most definitely a blessing.
Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.