2017-03-01 / Obituaries

Rehenia Moskowitz

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Rehenia Moskowitz’s nearly 99-year-long addiction to life ended, quite possibly in a dream, sometime very early in morning on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 at Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville.

It began on February 28, 1918 in the newly acquired United States Territory of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

It was there, while she was working at Bluebeard’s Castle, that she met a hotel guest: Hyman Moskowitz.

They returned to the mainland and got married; he was disown- ed by his family for marrying her, and had the family “Borscht Belt” boarding house (commonly known as a “Bed & Breakfast” in this century) seized by New York City to build the Neversink Reservoir.

In 1948, just one year later, they took the New York City money and started a chicken farm on Old River Road in Halcottsville. And for the next 69 years, she went out of her way to make sure she didn’t blend in.

Her heavy West Indian accent only added more flavor to what, right up until the end, was often a very spicy way of saying things.

She was always laughing and quick to bring a smile to others.

Those who’ve met her family, have remarked that they share the same easy laugh. Her hospice chaplain credited Rehenia with giving her family the gift of laughter.

Rehenia loved to dance the merengue. Somewhat to her family’s dismay, she particularly liked to dance the merengue in the aisles of the Margaretville CVS and she did so right into her 80s.

It may be a small town, but how many dozens of times did she walk into the same bank, announce that she was robbing it, only to have the tellers burst out laughing?

However, over the course of nearly a century, bad things happened. She lost a son, Allen, in 1977 and two years later, her husband died. Next, her son, Lionel, and just a few years later, her next youngest, Milfoy was gone. And in between the loss of two of her sons, her sister, Gladys passed away.

But she is survived by her sister, Mildred; eldest child, Leroy of Brooklyn; two daughters, Gerlene of Baltimore, MD, and Lorraine of Englewood, NJ, and her youngest, Joe of Reno, Nevada, and though not really a daughter, every bit as good as one, Pauline Liu of Saugerties, in addition to many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

She loved kids. Her job at the Arkville Head Start when she was already more than 70 years old was one of the highlights of her life.

She will be buried in the Margaretville Cemetery at a later date.

Hynes Funeral Home of Margaretville is handling the arrangements.

The family is planning a private celebration of her life.

She will be missed. Our thanks for the many condolences and kind words. Over the course of her remarkably long life, Rehenia made many, many friends.

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