Ray (Ricki) Lewin

Ray “Ricky” Rosenstein Lewin

Family: Ricky was the daughter of Nathan and Mary Rosenstein. She had three siblings: Abe, Florence and Eva. There is speculation that there was a fifth child who died very early and was in an unmarked grave.

Ricky married George Lewin, a German refugee, and had two children, William and Myrna. She was a homemaker, and was involved at Beth El through teaching Sunday School and the Sisterhood. They lived on Mangum Street near Duke Park, and George had a wholesale optical business on Main Street.

The four siblings were very close, Robert says, even after two of them moved away from Durham.

Robert remembers that the families of the two siblings who remained in Durham -- his father Abe and Ricky -- celebrated Passover together at one house or the other. "The only question was Where? And how long would it take to do Passover? The fifth question," Robert says.

But even when two of the four siblings moved away, they all still maintained close ties. "Ricky and Florence -- if they liked you, it was great. But if they didn’t like you, well, I don’t think it was the most pleasant place. And if both of them ganged up on you, it wasn’t a fair fight," Robert said. "And they were not bashful about telling you what they thought -- it’s a Rosenstein trait – and they would be happy to let everybody know. The more agitated they got, the louder they talked."

Florence was the baby, but she died first, and was buried with Ricky and George, but according to Jewish law there was a space left between her grave and George’s.

And we say, 'It’s a good thing that Ricky and Florence aren’t next to each other because they’d be talking forever,'" Robert says.