Kathryn Rubin, a Colorado and New Mexico businesswoman widely known for her tireless efforts at historical preservation of regional Jewish sites, especially Trinidad’s Temple Aaron synagogue, passed away in Colorado Springs on May 14, 2018, two days after her 95th birthday.
Funeral services took place May 16 at Temple Aaron with burial at Temple Aaron Cemetery in Trinidad. Swan-Law Funeral Directors made the arrangements. A memorial service will take place May 31, 4 p.m., at MacKenzie Place, 1605 Elm Creek View in Colorado Springs.
Born to Mina and Louis Heyman on May 12, 1923 in Albuquerque, Mrs. Rubin graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1940. After the death of her father in 1939, she joined her older sister Bertha and mother in the millinery trade. The family operated a business, Bertha’s Shoppe, in central Albuquerque for many years.
Mrs. Rubin married Leon Rubin of Raton, NM on Jan. 6, 1946, shortly after he returned from military service in WW II. The couple joined the longtime family business, Rubin’s Family Clothiers, a successful retailer in Raton until the store closed, after 95 years in business, in 2011.
The family was also involved in several other Raton businesses, including the R&R Shoe Store, Willow Springs Mercantile, Sports Arena and the Del Rose.
She was preceded in death by her husband on Jan. 1, 2013, one day before his 93rd birthday.
Mrs. Rubin was a longtime historical activist in New Mexico and last year was honored with the Hurst Award as a Jewish Pioneer of New Mexico in a Santa Fe ceremony, only the 19th recipient of this award.
She was dedicated to Trinidad’s venerable synagogue, Temple Aaron, and served as head of the congregation for nearly 30 years, organizing holiday services and hosting tour groups. In recent years, she spearheaded efforts to preserve the historic structure, working with History Colorado, Colorado Preservations, Inc. and regional Jewish organizations, in a project that is still underway.
Mrs. Rubin told the Intermountain Jewish News in a 2016 interview that her active participation in Temple Aaron dated back to 1946.
“I’ve been active in Temple Aaron for 70 years. It’s part of me. I wish the walls could talk. I’ve seen our children named there, we had our Bar Mitzvahs there, my granddaughter had her Bat Mitzvah there. It’s a part of our lives. There’s something about this place — I think it’s the history and the people — that keeps you wanting to come back.”
Mrs. Rubin was a Paul Harris Fellow at the Colorado Springs Rotary Club and was named to the Trinidad State Junior College Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 2013, in addition to serving on the college’s educational foundation board for over 20 years.
In Raton she was a member of Pick and Shovel, Eastern Star, Raton Friends of Music, Community Concert Association and PEO, as well as a Cub Scout Den Mother while her sons Randy and Ron were growing up. She was also active with the Seventh Street Coffee Club in Raton, and was a life member of Hadassah.
In recent years, Mrs. Rubin resided at MacKenzie Place in Colorado Springs, alongside her husband until his passing. Characteristically, she was an active and involved resident, and earned the unofficial title of “mayor” from her fellow residents.
Her family wrote last week that Mrs. Rubin “grew up riding horses, doing well in school, and had many friends. She participated in neighborhood antics and loved being mischievous. From a young age, people took a liking to her and she always found a soft spot in the hearts of her elders and peers. She was known in her communities as a kind leader and had an infectious laugh.
“Kathryn will be remembered for her generosity, love of people and their personal lives, and helping her friends and extended family with anything she could do to make their lives better and happier. She had a wonderful sense of humor and a remarkable memory of almost everything in her life and the lives of others. She died saying she lived a happy, full life and didn’t have regrets.”
Mrs. Rubin’s granddaughter, Nina Rubin, wrote on her blog that “when getting one-on-one time with her, she offered private and sage advice specifically for you. Among the nuggets she shared was to be ‘giving, giving, giving, giving and never unkind.’ You’ve tried to live by this Golden Rule, and will make an even stronger point to follow her example as you continue to live.”
Mrs. Rubin is survived by her sons, Randy and Ron (Karen Berenstein) Rubin; grandchildren Nina, Benjamin, Gillian (Dan) and Daniel (Tammy); and great-grandchildren Reizy, Shloimy, Rochel, Moishe and Yossi of Beitar, Israel.
Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Aaron in care of Randy Rubin, 228 S. Sixth St., Raton, NM 87740; to the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society, 5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109; to Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation, 600 Prospect St., Trinidad, CO 81082; or to the charity of choice.
Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News