Marilyn Frank

Obituary of Marilyn Frank

Passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her family on December 16th at the age of 86 after a courageous 7 year battle with Ovarian Cancer. Marilyn is survived by her husband Irwin of 63 years; sons Gary (Lisa), Steven (Robin), and Larry (Eric); sisters June Rapowitz, Sandi Messinger, and Diane Freedman; and granddaughters Casey, Amy, and Rachel Frank. She is predeceased by her brother Herman Ellowitch. The oldest of 5 children, Marilyn was born to Alfred Ellowitch and Miriam Burke in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania on July 4th in 1931.  Her family moved to Rochester when she was five. Marilyn graduated from Brighton High School in 1949 and Cornell University in 1953. She and Irwin brought up their 3 sons in Brighton and moved to Pittsford in 2005.  

Marilyn was an inspiration and pillar of the Rochester community and a natural born leader. As Executive Director, Marilyn rebuilt the Rochester Kidney Foundation, and spearheaded numerous high profile events. She later played a significant fundraising role for the American Urological Association. As a founding member of Friends of Strong, Marilyn brought vision and helped find resources to those in need. Marilyn led many major fundraising events featuring prominent entertainers including Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, Mandy Patinkin, David Brenner, and many others. At 80 years old, she led the 90th Gala Anniversary event for the Jewish Home. 
Marilyn made a difference. She made Rochester a better place to live. Marilyn will remain deeply loved. She was a great friend to many. Her warmth and support helped many overcome obstacles and helped them make difficult decisions. She was an extremely engaged and caring mother and grandmother with an incredible interest in the well being of her family.   

She was an avid reader, food expert, and had an uncanny sense of fashion, culture, and the arts; and loved golf, tennis, and bridge. Marilyn spent the past 22 winters in Sarasota, Florida where she leaves behind many close friends. Marilyn will long be lovingly remembered for her passion for life. She will remain a strong inspiration amongst her friends and family.  

Please send any donations to honor Marilyn to the Jewish Senior Life Foundation ( or the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (

 A service will be held at Temple B’rith Kodesh on Wednesday, December 20th at 1:30 PM followed by a reception at the Irondequoit Country Club from 3-5 PM. 

There will be a celebration of Marilyn’s life in May with details to be announced.