|Birth: ||Sep. 19, 1906|
|Death: ||Jul. 28, 1996|
Obituary, The Oklahoman, July 29, 1996
Rachmil Kurlender, age 89, passed away due to heart failure at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, 1996. His passing is a sorrow for those who knew and loved him and to an extent an end of an era. Rachmil was a survivor. He was born in Warsaw, Poland on September 19, 1906 and spent his youth in the city of Radom. When Hitler invaded Poland, Rachmil and his future wife, Dorothy, escaped the Nazi onslaught by crossing the Russian border. A shoemaker by trade, he was able to set up a meager life-style as a stranger in a strange land. Their life was once more interrupted when the Russian police arrested him one morning and without formal charges or a trial sent him to a concentration work camp in Siberia. He labored in the forests for three years until one day, without reason as was his arrest, he was set free. He walked from Siberia into central Russian following leads of where he had heard his wife might be. They miraculously found each other and moved to the small town of Ily, in Khazakstan. There they sat out the rest of the war making a living with his shoemaking skills.
After the war, Rachmil, Dorothy, and their baby daughter left Russia and traveled secretly through Germany into France. They settled in Paris where Dorothy had a brother and a sister. Between them, Rachmil and Dorothy lost their parents, seven brothers and sisters and countless other relatives and friends to the Holocaust. In 1954, they immigrated to Oklahoma City where Rachmil's brother, Mendel, had settled with his family after being liberated from a German concentration camp. Rachmil shared his shoemaking talents with the Oklahoma City community as an employee of Steigmeyer's Shoe Repair on Classen Boulevard for over 30 years while his wife, Dorothy was an employee of Lyntone Belts in Edmond.
Dorothy preceded him in death also of heart failure in 1988. Rachmil is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Anita and Michael Barlow; two grandsons and granddaughters-in-law, Louis and Laura Barlow and Alan Barlow and Stacie Henderson; two great granddaughters, Baylea and Sadie Barlow; and his sister-in-law and her husband Leah and Abram Henson. As an active member of Emanuel Synagogue, he is also survived by a community of people who share his heritage and his experiences. The collective memory of Rachmil and all those who survived the Holocaust, built a life, raised a family and kept the sprit of Judaism alive will shine on through the generations to come just as the newest star in the heavens now shines down on us all. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Solomon Schechter Academy, Oklahoma City; Emanuel Synagogue, Oklahoma City; or to Temple B'nai Isreal, Oklahoma City. Service will be held at Hahn Cook Funeral Chapel, Monday, July 29, 1996 at 4:00 p.m. with interment following at Emanuel Hebrew Cemetery.
Emanuel Memorial Garden
Created by: TimelessSpirits
Record added: Feb 17, 2012
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