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Florence Coleman Graubart

Devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother

Florence “Florie” Coleman Graubart died on January 17, 2014 at Mt. San Antonio Gardens after a long illness. She was 92.

Ms. Graubart was born on October 20, 1921 to Henry and Bertha Coleman in the Bronx, New York. She spent her formative years and most of her adulthood in New York City and Yonkers, New York. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in the Bronx and went on to attend secretarial school. She worked as an executive secretary for the Celanese Corporation in New York City.

Love entered Ms. Graubart’s life at the unlikely age of 13 when she met her future husband, Merwin Graubart. The childhood sweethearts were married in 1941, a year before Mr. Graubart was drafted into the Army.

Ms. Graubart and her mother followed Mr. Graubart to various training camps throughout the United States. This included a brief, happy stay in Eugene, Oregon where Mr. Graubart had been selected to participate in the Army Specialized Training Program before being deployed overseas to serve in the European Theater of Operations. During their stay in Eugene, Ms. Graubart worked for the American Red Cross.

When the couple was reunited after the war ended, they started a family. They had two children, a daughter, Andrea, and a son, Richard. Ms. Graubart was a dedicated full-time mom, presiding over three generations of her family.

An opportunity to re-enter the work force arose in 1968 when Ms. Graubart was offered an executive secretarial position with the Westchester County Mental Health Association. This was a job she enjoyed thoroughly until her retirement in 1977.

After she retired, Ms. Graubart and her husband moved to Sun City, Arizona in search of warmer winters. There the couple became ardent fans of the desert lifestyle, a dramatic change from their urban, east coast roots. Mr. Graubart, a licensed clinical social worker, established the Sun Cities Visually Impaired Program. His wife accompanied him to most of the meetings, helping with planning and implementing activities, and, as always, made people feel welcome and appreciated.

Ms. Graubart is described as a relentless shopper. When she was not out hunting for bargains, she also enjoyed cooking, reading and traveling. Mr. and Ms. Graubart visited European countries, Mexico, Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii and various places in the Far East.

Mr. Graubart passed away in 1995. In 2002, Ms. Graubart moved to Rancho Cucamonga in order to be closer to her family.

Her family describes her as someone with boundless enthusiasm, always curious about people and possessing a vibrant personality that attracted a new circle of California friends.

“My mom sparkled. She was my shining light,” her daughter said.

Ms. Graubart is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Jay Labinger of Claremont; her son and daughter-in-law, Richard Graubart and Susan Yavner of Andover, Massachusetts; her granddaughter, Barbara Labinger of San Francisco; and her twin grandsons, Mark and Sam Graubart.

Tributes to Ms. Graubart may be made through the Alzheimer’s Association.

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