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Schifman, Ann

Ann Schifman, 101, whose life was blessed with three happy marriages and the love of countless friends and family members, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Village Shalom.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Jan. 26, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, followed by burial at Mount Carmel Cemetery. The family requests contributions to Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care.

Anna Mendell was born on Oct. 2, 1912, in St. Joseph, Mo. She was the fourth child of Isaac and Fanny Mendell, who ran a grocery store. She enjoyed a cheerful youth and thanks to the family business, never went hungry. The closely-knit Jewish community in St. Joseph nurtured the young woman; more than 60 years after she moved away, she continued to find new connections with the town.

At Central High School, Anna was popular and a good student. After graduating in 1930, she matriculated at St. Joseph Junior College, where she trained to be a teacher. In 1938 she wed Harry Vegder, a fellow St. Joseph native. A daughter, Judith Lynn, was born four years later. Mr. Vegder served in World War II and died tragically in combat in 1944.

Through the matchmaking efforts of relatives, Ann (she had dropped the final vowel), was introduced to Louis Rabicoff, a St. Joseph native who had moved to Kansas City, and the two were married in March of 1946. After the birth of their son, Richard Alan, in 1947, they migrated to the southwest part of town, where their Jarboe Street home became a haven for family visitors and an ever-widening circle of friends. Ann was active at her children’s schools and at Congregation Beth Shalom, where she worked on the Book of Remembrance and other projects. Mr. Rabicoff fell ill and became an invalid in 1959, and Ann provided constant and loving care until his death in 1969.

Ann later wed printing executive Meyer Schifman and once again became the beloved matriarch of a large family. The two traveled worldwide, achieving one of Ann’s lifetime dreams. After Mr. Schifman died in 2003, Ann eventually found a new home at the Village Shalom retirement community in Overland Park. There she began or renewed numerous friendships.

Ann Schifman constantly brought joy and inspiration to everyone she met. She was a devoted wife, mother and friend. No matter what sorrow or adversity she experienced, she always kept smiling.

Ann is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Joel Levitch, Kansas City, Mo.; her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Marla Rabicoff, Baltimore; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and scores of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her three siblings.

Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.