Elisabeth Ruth Jonas (1955-2023) passed peacefully in her home on Friday, Nov. 3 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease with the support of her loving and attentive caregivers. She is survived by her siblings: Jon Jonas (Sally) of Belleville, Ill.; Rebecca Jonas Rubin (Craig) of Peachtree Corners, Ga.; Janet Jonas Mann (Ira) of Johns Creek, Ga.; her niece, Iris Rose Rubin, nephew, Jonah Asher Mann, stepson, Spencer Gale, daughter-in-love, Lauren Roderique (Chris), and grandson, Colby Gale.
Born in Charleston, S.C., Elisabeth showed at an early age her love for dance, theatre, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of nine, she established her first business teaching ballet to the neighborhood children out of her parents’ garage in Satellite Beach, Fla. Not long after, at the age of 16, she traveled to the state of Florida, setting choreography for high school dance lines. In high school, she excelled academically and displayed remarkable leadership over the award-winning Satellite High School Scorpionettes. Elisabeth was meticulous in her presentation, always manicured and coiffed which earned her Homecoming Queen, Prom Queen and Miss SHS her senior year. Her passion for dance and theatre pointed Elisabeth toward the University of Southern Mississippi, where she became the youngest captain of the Golden Eagles’ Dixie Darlings for three of her four collegiate years.
In 1977, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree of Theatre and a massive drive to succeed. After exploring career paths, she developed a strong desire to help others find success and began a new career in fundraising with a nationwide firm. The 1991 birth of Elisabeth’s own company, Encore Fundraising, Inc., began an adventure that went on to touch countless lives and teach hundreds of thousands of students to confidently present themselves, sell a concept and product, and follow through to reach their goals. Over the next 25 years, her business model, sales training, handpicked team of professionals and distributors, resulted in over $40 million in profit for fine arts programs in the public school system.
The fall of 1999 presented Elisabeth with the love of her life, Howard Gale. Together, they grew her business to new heights, enjoyed traveling the country, celebrated the arrival of their grandson, and spent countless hours on their own floating paradise, Tranquility at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga. As they began their individual struggles with cognitive decline, their love for each other remained steadfast and was tangible to all who crossed their path.
A shiva gathering of friends and family was held at Congregation Dor Tamid in Johns Creek, Ga., on Sunday, Nov. 12. We will gather once again for a Celebration of Life in early Feb. 2024. More details forthcoming. Donations can be made in honor of Elisabeth’s memory at ALZ.ORG. Arrangements by Dressler’s, 770-451-4999.