Obituary of Lillian Courtheoux
November 17, 2019, at age 100. Predeceased by her husband, David; and son, Thomas A. Courtheoux; brothers, David and Ralph; sister, Ida. She is survived by her beloved son, Richard J. (Perri) Courtheoux; granddaughters, Suzanne Courtheoux & Karen (Robert Weinstock) Courtheoux. In recent years her great-grandchildren, Miles, Rena and Lydia, were her greatest joys.
Lillian’s community and her family are forever the beneficiaries of what she gave over her 100.5 years. She played a key role in giving the Rochester community two institutions of significance which to this day help people in different areas of life.
She was a founder of Temple Sinai, a board member for many years, chairperson of the Religious School committee and first President of the Sisterhood. The temple, its rabbis and its leadership, were very significant sources of support as her strength declined and she was very proud that more than half a century after its founding Temple Sinai is a caring, thriving and wonderful place.
Lillian was also one of the key people who built ARC of Monroe where she held many leadership positions over the years, including a term as its President. She had the vision and the fierce determination to create and give a better life to her son, Tom, and to other members of the community with developmental disabilities. She and the other pioneers of ARC faced a world in the 1950’s which provided very little in the way of appropriate services for both children and adults with these special needs. Through years of effort she, other parents and enlightened ARC members from the community were able to build educational, recreational, vocational and residential programs that have served thousands of people over the years.
The most personal aspects of her giving to others were reflected in what she did for her family. She and her late husband, David, were married for 55 years and had a very close, loving and devoted life together. They did so much together, including their shared love of tennis, their second home in Florida, their trips and their work together at the family drug store. And, most importantly for the last 4.5 years she had great-grandchildren whose pictures consumed much of the wall space in her apartment.
The greatest, hardest, most extraordinary giving in Lillian’s life was what she did for her son Tom who had developmental disabilities. Part of that was the development of ARC and its programs and services, but on a personal level she was a loving mother who gave her life to develop his life and support his happiness. She gave Tom as much as any mother could have, including during the devastating final months of his life.
After a lifetime of giving for others, she found a team of extraordinary caregivers during the last years, and especially the last few months and weeks, of her life. The loving, devoted care that she received went above-and-beyond in every way and allowed her to maintain the life she wanted in the environment she chose. More than that, she cherished the relationships and interactions she had with the great people who were with her every day.
Lillian was quiet, modest, but also very determined, talented and creative. For many years she created enamels that reflected her own special technical abilities and artistic sensibilities. She was a very good tennis player until age 80. She loved to play bridge both because of its intellectual challenge and the opportunity it presented to spend time with wonderful people.
Lillian’s life had its blessings and its sorrows, but she lived it valiantly and she was truly what the book of Proverbs calls “a woman of valor.”
Funeral Services will be held on THURSDAY, November 21st at 10:30 AM in Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Road. (Map) Interment, Mt. Hope Cemetery.
The family will receive friends on THURSDAY from 3-5 PM and 7-9 PM at 2500 East Ave. Apt. 4U. (Map)
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