BOBETTE SZYLLER, a specialist in elder care, who wrote a book and made several films on gerontology, died Friday, March 1, at her home in Covington, LA. She was 95.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, she graduated from Northwestern University and the College of Dayton Art Institute. While still living in Dayton, she married to her first husband, Harry Graubarth M.D., and became a supporter of the Dayton Jewish and artistic communities. She studied at the Ohio Commission on Aging, the Scripps Foundation Gerontology Center, and the University of Michigan.
When her marriage ended, she moved to New Orleans, a city she adopted, and began her work to bring vitality into nursing home care. It was at this time that she developed her own program, Longevity Therapy, which led to the book and films.
In 1986, she married Leon Abraham (Av) Szyller and moved to Covington, LA, where she became associated with the Northshore Jewish Congregation. She treasured the relationships formed in the “Grandmother Group,” her yoga class, and Clearwater Sanctuary meditation group. She was a longtime supporter of the Women’s Center in Abita Springs.
In 2016, Bobette lost both her home and her husband, but not her spirit. She moved into a new home in Covington. Until the end, Bobette was a model for her own “longevity” program. Her exuberance and great style – her amazing wit, her 50-year commitment to yoga and healthy living, music, and people – made her a life-dancer, an inspiration, and teacher to many.
Szyller is survived by her children Heidi Vizelberg, Robin Graubarth of Ann Arbor, MI. and Jonathan Graubarth; her sister Jeanne Betty Weiner of Sarasota, FL; two grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A funeral service will be held today, Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 11:00 am at E.J. Fielding Funeral Home, 2260 W. 21st Avenue, Covington, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Women’s Center for Healing and Transformation 71667 Leveson Street, Abita Springs, LA 70420 www.womenscenterforhealing.org
A minyan in her honor will be held on Thursday, March 7, at 7:00 p.m. at Congregation Gates of Prayer.