Betty Rothman

Obituary of Betty D. Rothman

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Betty Rothman passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 13, 2016, just five-weeks shy of her 94th birthday. She died at her home in Cherry Hill, the home she had cherished for 60 years. Betty is survived by her two daughters, Marsha Andreola of North Carolina and Saskia (Andreola) Ishii of Honolulu, Hawaii; her three grandchildren, Ryan Ishii, Jenna Ishii, and her twin-sister, Allison (Ishii) Blankenship, who live in Honolulu; and her two nieces, and great-niece, Tamarah Benima, Maureen Benima, and Joya Benima, who live in Amsterdam. Other family members beloved by Betty are her son-in-law, Dr. Clyde Ishii, and her grandson-in-law, Todd Blankenship, both of Honolulu. Betty was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During World War II she went into hiding posing as a maid. She endured near-starvation during the last winter of the war, often going on "hunger trips" to the north of Holland, riding her bicycle for 8 hours during the dead of night. Even though her parents and oldest brother died in concentration camps, Betty survived due to the kindness of strangers including several German soldiers. Remarkably, and impressively, she maintained a positive outlook on life. In 2008, Betty recounted her war memories in a documentary made by her grandchildren. To view the presentation, <a href=https://ryan-ishii.wistia.com/medias/lxrv05kdk5>CLICK HERE: https://ryan-ishii.wistia.com/medias/lxrv05kdk5</a>. A decade after moving to America, Betty became a volunteer for the Animal Welfare Association of southern New Jersey in the 1960's. There she discovered her life's passion: working with animals. She and her late husband, Dr. Marvin Rothman, worked together for 47 years at the Rothman Animal Hospital which he founded in Collingswood, NJ. Betty served primarily as office manager, and later as an accountant, working until she was 90. The animal hospital continues to be of service to the community today. For many years, Betty and Marvin's home became a haven for any animal or teenager who was lost and in need of being nurtured. It's been said that it was harder to adopt a pet from Betty Rothman than it was to adopt a child. Her love of animals was legendary and she will be remembered for continuously helping people and pets in need. When asked how she would like to be remembered she replied playfully, "What could you say about me that wasn't fantastic!" Betty leaves an indelible imprint on those she knew. Her family and friends will miss her witty poems, her quirky sense of humor, her blunt style of speaking, her elegant dinner parties & neighborhood gatherings, and the gift she gave us all by setting an example that anything is possible. Betty firmly believed that "The two most important ingredients in anyone's life are health and freedom"; if you have these two all-important components, you are able to create your own destiny. In later years she expanded her perspective stating that, "The most important thing in life is to be surrounded by people you love and who love you." Betty lived a life filled with courage, passion, honor, honesty, and humor. She will be forever remembered as a hero who remained upbeat against seemingly insurmountable odds. A private celebration to honor Betty's life will be held in late December. For those wishing to make a donation "in memory of" Betty, please contact either Pet Pals of Southern NJ, a local 501(C)(3) non-profit organization: 856-939-6900, http://petpalssj.com/ , or Operation Smile, a non-profit organization providing a global service: 888-677-6453, www.operationsmile.org . All donations are greatly appreciated and will continue Betty's legacy of helping both two-and-four-legged creatures in need of assistance.
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