It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our loving and devoted mother, and friend to all whose lives she touched. Mom passed away suddenly and peacefully on Oct. 29th 2019 while being cared for by her family in Cape Coral, FL. She was 99.
Born in Burscheid, Germany in 1920, she traveled to America at age 7, with her parents, Otto and Maria, and sister Molly.
Elsbeth married Russell B. Herbert after graduating high school, and had 5 daughters. Following her husband’s untimely death, she became an RN, and worked as head nurse of Labor and Delivery at Middlesex General Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ (now RWJUH).
She remarried Frank J. Rapolla in 1956, and became a mother to a son and daughter.
Elsbeth retired at age 60, and moved with her husband to Lavallette, NJ where she became a member of Dover Brick Rescue Squad. She also served as an officer of Ocean Beach Surf Club. She experienced the flooding of her home after Superstorm Sandy, at age 92, and with strength and dignity sorted through the devastation to find her family pictures.
Mom loved people, and had many friends.She was a special lady who baked muffins for the crossing guard, left an apple daily for the mailman, gave peaches to children from her tree, and drove neighbors to appointments. She was happiest when doing for others.
She is survived by six daughters, and a son - Patricia Green, Sandra Cosher, Susan Roytos, Linda Higgins, Karen Pitzner, Kim Vash, and Frank Rapolla; 14 grandchildren; 23 great grandchildren; and six great, great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her loving grandson Michael Otto Higgins.
Mom lived a full life, and touched so many lives along the way. She loved the beach, cooking for others, and growing flowers. She knew joy and adversity in her life, and was determined to make sure that her children were strong, and self sufficient should life bring sudden challenges.
A celebration of Elsbeth’s life will be held at Selover Funeral Home, 555 Georges Rd. North Brunswick, NJ on Saturday, November 23, from 9:00 - 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations to your favorite charity are appreciated.