Obituary: Roberta Halpern

Obituary: Roberta Halpern

Roberta Halpern, 85, loving mother and grandmother, passed away on April 11 at Northside Hospital after a brief illness.

Roberta Halpern, 85, loving mother and grandmother, passed away on April 11 at Northside Hospital after a brief illness.

Roberta was born on Jan. 6, 1937, in Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio, to Elmer Leon Silverman and Nettie Silverman. Roberta was a fraternal twin with her sister, Loretta Arnold (of blessed memory), whom she loved dearly. Roberta was known for her kindness, honesty and loyalty to her family and friends. Although somewhat reserved, she did not hesitate to come alive if discussing her family. Her family was her life.

She graduated from Heights High School in Cleveland, Ohio. She was quite involved in the extracurricular activities at Heights High School and always carried fond memories and spoke quite frequently of her life-long friends from Heights High School.

After obtaining a full academic scholarship, she went on to graduate from The Ohio State University School of Dental Hygiene. During college, Roberta would commute almost every weekend by bus to go back to Cleveland to visit family and work at her then-father-in-law’s (William Halpern) clothing store, Fisher’s Clothing.

After graduating from college, Roberta worked for dentist Robert Leavitt for many years. She had a love for flowers, and she worked part-time at Gali’s Florist in Beachwood, Ohio. These skills of flower arranging she would carry with her throughout her life. When she attended any kind of special event, she would be known for bringing flowers in a vase, arranged to perfection with a matching bow, for the event.

Roberta married Sidney Halpern and they would go on to raise their two children, David Leon Halpern and Michelle Susan Shapiro (Halpern). Shortly after her divorce in 1987, Roberta moved to Atlanta, Ga., to be with her two children.

Roberta found her dream home in Dunwoody, Ga. Surrounded by a lush backyard of beautiful trees and flowers, Roberta would love to pick up her favorite book or listen to her favorite music while relaxing on her beautiful back porch. She loved biographies and books about flowers, art and her Jewish faith.

She was a member of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation (Cleveland, Ohio) for most of her life. After moving to Atlanta, she joined AA Synagogue and later attended Beth Shalom for many years. She would listen to DVDs each night, playing classic symphony music. One of her favorites was George Zell with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.

It was her love for music that inspired her to attend the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with her family. Although quite reserved, she would jump out of her seat at the symphony to shout a loud “Bravo” during a second encore.

Roberta was a member of the High Museum, where she would visit such exhibits as Monet and Picasso. With a soft spot in her heart for those with special needs, she would attend the Habima Theatre in Dunwoody with her family and would help her son, David, with special needs events for the community.

An avid tennis player, Roberta played on the ALTA women’s tennis teams in Atlanta. She was quite humble and never mentioned her team winning multiple Doubles Championships. She found a love for sports later in life. She volunteered to work for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

In addition, with her son David always by her side, she would attend the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks games. She was thrilled when NBA Superstar Dikembe Mutombo stepped off of the center court while the Hawks were retiring his jersey to give her a big hug.

During Halloween, she would hand out candy and get dressed in costume at David’s office, where the children of the employees would be thrilled with her choice of treats. Her family was her world. She was most proud of her family. She was affectionally known as “Grammie” by her family.

She enjoyed spending Shabbat dinners as well as traditional family holidays at the home of daughter, Michelle Shapiro, and son-in-law Joel Shapiro. Most of those holidays were attended by Joel’s family: father, Jack Shapiro (of blessed memory), mother, Jackie (of blessed memory), sister, Kathy Gross (Rick) and brother Johnny. Roberta loved them all.

Her favorite meals were “anything my daughter Michelle was cooking.” She would talk to Michelle and visit with her almost every day of her life. Michelle would go on to provide the love and tender care daily as she spent more time at her lovely home. Roberta never stopped bragging about how wonderfully her son-in-law Joel would take care of her.

She had a deep love for her granddaughters, Rachel Bielenberg (Shapiro) and Emily Shapiro. She never missed a Davis Academy event for either girl.

Roberta felt blessed to have attended Rachel and Josh Bielenberg’s wedding on March 19. She had a particular fondness for Josh and how he cared for her granddaughter. She was a pillar of strength for her granddaughter Emily as she has been getting acclimated to college life.

She saw one of her dreams come true after her son David married Jody Almeter Halpern, who fondly referred to her as “Queen Elizabeth.” She quickly found a love for her new daughter-in-law, as well as for Jody’s children, Megan, Spencer, Lili and Nolan. She also was comforted by the continual support she received from Jody’s parents, Bonnie and Larry Almeter.

Roberta felt a particular closeness to her extended family: Marvin Halpern (of blessed memory) and Sharon Halpern and their children, her nieces and nephews and their spouses and children, Seth Halpern (Marlene), Jeff (Stacie) Halpern and Stephanie Halpern Klein (Dan Klein) and their children.

A special thanks given to her friends and caregivers, Melinda Christensen and Melissa Hyatt, as well as Lovenda. According to Jewish tradition, one who dies on the High Holiday is considered a “Tzadik,” a title given in Judaism to people considered righteous.

As we approach Passover, we will hold Roberta in the highest regard. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Northside Hospital Foundation or The Cardiac Care Education Program (Halpern Family Scholarship)

Funeral services were held April 13 at North Atlanta Memorial Park. Please sign online guestbook at Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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