Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Feb. 2, 2017 (90)
Rita Atlas Wolfson
Rita Rita Atlas Wolfson peacefully passed away on February 1, 2017 at her home in
Chapel Hill, NC.
Rita was the oldest child of her loving parents Ollie and Bertha Atlas. She grew up in
Washington, DC, graduated from Roosevelt High School (1944), and Chevy Chase Jr
Rita is predeceased by her former husband, Marvin C. Goldstein, and her sister Sonia A.
Rita was a Matriarch, an amazing woman of great beauty and stature. A humanitarian,
philanthropist, artist, civic and Jewish leader, she was loved and admired in Washington,
Atlanta, Palm Beach, Manhasset and Chapel Hill for her endless devotion to the families
and communities where she lived. Together with Marvin for over 40 years, they created a
shared life of Jewish values and community leadership. She was a consummate host,
whether the Governor was at her home, the Israel Prime Minister at the Atlanta American
Hotel, or the Goldstein family Sunday pool parties in her beautiful back yard. Rita was
always gracious, intelligent, charming and gorgeous. A highlight of her life was the invitation
from President Carter to her and Marvin for the Camp David Mideast Peace Signing.
Rita met many world leaders, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Israel Prime Ministers and
American Presidents, and she and Marvin were invited to the White House by President
Carter. She loved meeting Bill and Hillary Clinton, and avidly participated in the 2016
election. Rita was Co-Chair of the UJA North America World Assembly in Atlanta and was
a recipient of the Woman of Valor award from the Friends of the Hebrew University.
A passionate flower gardener, Rita was especially proud of her establishment with Marvin
of a rooftop garden in Jerusalem at Lifeline for the Aged, Yad LaKashish, which empowers
over 300 elderly residents of Jerusalem. Rita established a Community Friendship Garden
at the Lerner Jewish Day School in Durham, NC. Rita's philanthropic spirit will live on in
perpetuity through Jewish Federation Lion of Judah annual campaign endowments in
Atlanta, Palm Beach and Durham/Chapel Hill. Rita was a member of Ahavath Achim
Synagogue in Atlanta, GA for over 50 years. As an artist Rita produced an outstanding
collection of dozens of marble sculptures that will grace her family's homes for generations
Later in life, she took up painting again, giving her beautiful canvasses away to those lucky
enough to come through her doors. There was no one like Rita, who shared her love
nonstop with all. This was especially true of the large Goldstein family, the Atlas family, the
Wolfson family, and the hundreds of domestic, dental and hotel employees that she
personally bought and wrapped gifts for every Holiday Season for forty years. Rita's circles
of friends and colleagues spanned the globe. She taught, by example, how to be a good
person - write letters, make calls, welcome family and strangers, care for each other, do
what's right. Rita remarried after Marvin's death and is survived by her husband, Harold
Wolfson, of Delray Beach, FL, and his children: Jamie (Phillip, Andrew), Cindy (Larry), and
Gary (Fernanda, Ezra). Harold and Rita had a charmed marriage, traveling the world with
wonderful friends. They brought together their two families at the beach, in the mountains,
and on the ocean - as they shared their mutual commitment to Judaism, Israel and family.
She is survived by her brother, Simon Atlas (Ellen) of Bethesda, MD; her son, Armand
Goldstein of Acworth, GA; her daughter, Aleta Aaron (Howard) of Atlanta, GA; her son,
Andrew Goldstein of Occidental, CA; her daughter, Anne Strickland (Curt) of Stoughton,
MA; and her son, Adam Goldstein (Beth) of Chapel Hill, NC. Grandma Rita loved her ten
grandchildren more than anything: Alana (Jack), Tonja (Justin), Blair (Matt), Jesse (Laura),
Willow, Leah, Jared, Michael, Elianna, and Nicotiana. And her three great-grandchildren,
Miles, Rune, and Lennon. Rita was fortunate to have her wonderful aide, Caroline Fauci,
with her for the last several years of her life, and Jane Hayes, and many other caregivers in
Rita was blessed to have Adam and Beth nearby, whose ceaseless caring and
commitment to Shabbat gave her a sacred place to stay connected with family and make
new friends to her last day. Everyone who knew her was blessed to have Rita in their lives.
Sign online guestbook at www.edressler.com
Funeral services will be held 12:30 PM Friday, February 3, 2017 at Ahavath Achim
Synagogue in Atlanta, GA, with Rabbi Lawrence Rosenthal and Rabbi Daniel Greyber from
Beth El Synagogue in Durham, NC officiating.
Graveside services will follow in Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs, GA.
Donations in Rita's memory may be made to Yad LaKashish, www.lifeline.org in honor of
Rita Goldstein Wolfson; or to the Rita Goldstein Wolfson Friendship Garden at the Lerner
Jewish Day School, www.lernerschool.org
Arrangements by Dressler's Jewish Funeral Home, Atlanta, GA, 770-451-4999.