Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In Memoriam - Rhoda Toback

I learned this morning that Rhoda Toback passed away over the weekend.  While I knew she had some health problems, this came as a shock to me.  And it would.  Rhoda always conveyed energy and vitality.  She was a genuine and loving person.

I came to know Rhoda during the effort to have the Inner Arbor plan passed through the CA Board.  She loved the plan immediately and was a steadfast advocate for passage.  Rhoda attended every meeting and spoke forcefully in favor of the plan.  I will always remember how my early impression of Rhoda as a kind but meek woman was dashed as she responded to an Inner Arbor critic with sharp wit and devastating certitude.  I knew then we would be friends.

During my campaign for delegate, she constantly sent me encouraging notes and emails.  After the loss, she pulled me aside to say how it was much more important for me to be there for my daughter and that I would find other ways to serve.  It was that balance between steadfast support and consoling mentorship that made Rhoda such a great person to be around.

Rhoda never met Harper, but she would always tell me how much she enjoyed seeing her pictures on Facebook.  As a Dad, I get a little self-conscious about posting too many pictures, but she would assure me that they were enjoyed by more than just family.

Rhoda was a dedicated supporter of the arts and watershed management, two things that have been weighing heavy on my mind in 2016.  She even wrote me one email in the form of a poem.  Admittedly, I thought it was somewhat eccentric at the time, but I will probably remember Rhoda for the rest of my life because of that eccentricity.

She loved this blog and commented often - always when the posts were the most optimistic and positive.

Rhoda Toback was a great woman and was a quintessential Columbian.  She will be missed.