Rachel Benshushan Galanti, 88, passed away peacefully at her home, which was her castle for 55 years, after a long journey with dementia.
Born in Atlanta in 1934, Rachel was the daughter of Perla Mallel and Isaac Benshushan, who arrived in America and settled in Atlanta in 1932. Rachel was joyfully married to the love of her life, Morris Galanti, for 57 years. A doting family caretaker and cheerleader, Rachel stood steadfastly by Morris for the 10 years following his stroke until his death in 2010. Their marriage was the last Sephardic union among the Or VeShalom founding families.
Rachel’s family roots in the Island of Rhodes and coast of Turkey communities remained deeply embedded throughout her lifetime, reinforced through her lifelong bonds with her Or VeShalom family, friends, and classmates and by holding on to the Ladino language of her parents and their generation.
As treasurer of her ladies’ stock club, the books were meticulous, and the stock value grew steadily. Rachel tried her hand for a while with tennis, golf, bowling, canasta, and braille, all of which she enjoyed, but nothing beat the thrill of finding the hot poker machine in Vegas – except for her grandchildren. While Rachel was not the attend-every-sporting-or-school-event type of grandmother, she was the always welcoming voice and open arms of Mima love.
Rachel was born ahead of her time. She wanted to work outside the home, but Morris was not going to have his wife “help someone else make money.” So, together with her sister-in-law Ila, they launched the money order business at the family supermarket on Jonesboro Road. Following their success and fun managing that enterprise, Rachel and Ila joined forces again to support the launch of the accounting firm of their nephew and son, respectively. These ladies were human experts that would put voicemail, computers, and QuickBooks to shame. Rachel’s fun, independent and capable ways inspired her children to pursue their professional and personal paths with gusto and purpose.
Rachel is survived by her children, Lisa (Hal) Rabinowitz, Ronnie (Nancy) Galanti, and Irwin (Charlene) Galanti; grandchildren, Michael (Michelle), Adam (Heather), Morris Kevin (Erinn), Laura (Elad), Rachel (Daniel), Rebecca, and Meredith; and six great-grandchildren, Matthew, Sophie, Gefen, Jack, Eli, and Shai. Rachel is also survived by her dear sister-in-law, Ila Galanti, and brother-in-law, Sam Galanti, along with her many treasured nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family is grateful to Rachel’s compassionate caregivers, Tiffany James, Alicia Orridge, Audria Davy, and Rosalee Williams during Rachel’s final years, as well as to Weinstein Hospice. Graveside services were held at Arlington Cemetery, with Rabbi Joshua Hearshen officiating. Donations may be made to Congregation Or VeShalom or your favorite charity. Arrangements by Dressler’s, 770-451-4999.