Rose Feith, 100, of Elkins Park, a longtime philanthropist who, with her late husband, gave generously to causes here and in Israel, died Friday, Jan. 29, at home of complications from a fall.
For 59 years, Mrs. Feith was married to philanthropist, community leader, and businessman Dalck Feith. The pair gave time, effort, and financial support to many institutions and charitable causes.
In Philadelphia, these included Einstein Medical Center, the Philadelphia Psychiatric Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, Gratz College, and Beth Sholom Congregation.
In the Washington area, the Feiths made one of the initial founding gifts to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and donated the Upper School chapel at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.
In Israel, they donated the life sciences building at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Dalck Feith died in 2005.
Mrs. Feith was born Rose Bankel in 1915 in Englewood, N.J. Her parents were recent immigrants from Poland. She met her future husband, an officer in the Merchant Marine, during World War II, when he was recuperating in New York from the loss at sea of a ship to which he had been assigned.
He went to stay at Grossinger's resort in the Catskills in 1943, and objected loudly when his room wasn't ready, according to his obituary in the Jewish Exponent. "There was an attractive girl in the lobby who tried to calm him down - she turned out to be my mom," son Douglas told the Exponent.
In 1946, the two married and started a small firm in central Philadelphia. Known as Dalco Manufacturing Co., it made metal boxes for companies that produced electronic equipment.
She operated a manually powered press for Dalco, processing sheet metal, until 1949, when she switched to clerical work and raising the couple's children.
"She was a strong person without being overbearing," her son said.
The firm and its related businesses grew over the next 40 years into a larger enterprise that made possible the couple's philanthropic efforts.
Mrs. Feith always maintained an elegant appearance; she took pains styling her hair and "did her face" even past her 100th birthday.
"She brightened her looks with an active sense of humor, which she also retained to the end. Even after her memory began to slip in her later years, she remained a source of hilarity," her family said.
Mrs. Feith had lived in Elkins Park since 1953.
Besides her two sons, she is survived by a daughter, Debbie Feith Tye; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Services were Sunday.