May 29 2020
Sam Rafowitz Sam Rafowitz, loving father, husband, Zaydee, and friend, passed away peacefully on May 29, at the age of 95, from Congestive Heart Failure. His sons Ivan and Ken were by his side. Raised in Warsaw, Poland, Sam’s youth was interrupted by the Holocaust at age 14, where he spent five years laboring in five different concentration camps, including Auschwitz, until he was liberated in 1945. Despite such hardships, Sam not only survived but thrived. After the war and in a DP camp in Germany he met and married the love of his life Cyla Bonk. In 1949, they came to St Paul with their infant son Ivan to make a new life. They had two more children, Ken and Charlene. Sam co-founded Northern Cap Manufacturing in 1950 and worked in the company until it was sold to an international apparel manufacturer in 2008. He spent 60 happy years with Cyla until she passed away at the age of 80. His wife, Cyla, children, Ken, Ivan and Charlene and grandchildren Adam and Mia were the light of his life. He warmly welcomed Ivan’s wife, Tina and Ken’s life partner, Dan Porter. He was most proud of coming to America and building a family. Sam loved music and dancing. He was a devoted Twins and Vikings fan. He was an avid golfer and loved to exercise every day. Sam was known as the “Hat Man” to many. He loved sharing stories and enjoyed giving hats away. He spoke at many high schools and events about his experiences during the Nazi occupation with a message of inspiration and hope and that we should “never forget”. He was honored for his strength and resilience on holocaust remembrance day by the City of St Paul with the designation of “Sam Rafowitz Day” on May 9, 2014. A documentary of his life is available at the following link: youtu.be/4Dd7owNcGms?t=156 Sam Rafowitz was a true gentleman and loved by all who were lucky enough to know him. His passing is made more difficult by current Covid-19 circumstances, but his family and friends find comfort knowing both his story and his character will be remembered. Sam was fortunate to share the past 10 years with his special friend Sandra Mandel. We thank his recent caregiver, Grace, for making his final days comfortable. Preceded in death by his parents, Chava and Kesel Rafowitz; wife, Cyla; daughter Charlene, sister, Helen; sister- in -law, Idelle Bonk; brothers-in-law, Max Schwartz and Chaim Bonk and many others killed in the Holocaust. Sam is survived by son, Ivan and daughter-in-law, Tina; son, Ken Rafowitz and life partner Dan Porter; grandchildren, Adam and Mia Rafowitz; nieces and nephews, Hava Schwartz Cohen, Rita Schwartz Rosen(Harvey), Melinda Bonk, Leslie Bonk, Ivan (Jill) Bonk, Marc Bonk, Ruven (Wendy) Schwartz and beloved great nieces and nephews. Memorials preferred to JCRC of MN Holocaust Education. There will be a private family burial on Monday and a Zoom shiva Monday at 7PM email email@example.com for the zoom link.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Sam Rafowitz May 29 2020.
Death notice for the town of: -, state: Minnesota