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MADISON—Frances Rothstein, devoted spouse, mother and grandmother, passed away on Nov. 6, 2018, at Agrace HospiceCare. Fran’s partner in life was her husband, Morton, and together they dedicated the overwhelming majority of their efforts to creating a loving and nurturing home. She was born Dec. 25, 1931, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Abraham and Reba (Garbeil) Lustig and raised in the Brighton Beach neighborhood. Fran excelled at Lincoln High School before marrying Mort on Nov. 18, 1950. Her journey with Mort included stops in Ithaca, N.Y. and Newark, Del., before settling in Madison. It also included academic sabbaticals in London, England on two occasions. Mort and Fran spent 14 years in Davis, Calif., 1984-1998, before returning home to Madison.

Fran made graceful, welcoming homes for family and friends. She had a quiet sensibility, timing inflections of her mother’s comic irascibility and her father’s patience and wisdom. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she worked in the graduate school as an advisor for the Fulbright Scholarship program, she became highly regarded for guiding brilliant, young minds with practical, commonsense life lessons. Throughout her life in the academic world, she showed her sons that the truly learned were the kind, the thoughtful, and the compassionate—no matter their station. She often extended her kindness to others through food—her chopped liver, blintzes, potato latkes and sour cream coffee cake were legendary.

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Fran is preceded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her brother, Harold (Roberta); and her three sons, Laurence, Eric, and David and their families. For those she loved, her unwavering support, patience, and open, forgiving heart is our punctuating memory. She will be missed profoundly.

The family would like to thank the staff at Oakwood Village West and Agrace HospiceCare for their care. Private family services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Please share a memory at

Cress Center

Funeral and Cremation Care

6021 University Ave., Madison

(608) 238-8406

the life of: Rothstein, Frances
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