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Remembrance: Toby Ruth Kalish

Toby Ruth Kalish  August 9, 1928 – June 17, 2020

Born in The Bronx, daughter to Sally and Jack Ekhaus, sister to Alex (deceased).

Married at 19 to Melvin Kalish, her soulmate until his passing in 2005.  Madly in love they adopted the slogan “Me and you against the world”.  

Toby has left behind their three children, Lauren, Randy, Mark and their spouses, as well as their grandchildren.

Toby held various bookkeeping roles in retail, brokerage and import/export. After retiring to Leisure World, Toby then began her volunteer work with Chabad of Laguna Woods, Temple Judea gift shop manager and teaching Yiddish and knitting.  As a founding member of the Parkinson’s singing group and active in the Temple, she volunteered for many of their events and causes.

Artist, teacher, club member, spiritual leader and friend to all that crossed her path, Toby was an inspiration and mentor to all that she touched.  Her positive attitude was inspiring and she motivated herself with the Regina Brett’s quote, “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up”.  In Toby’s case she added….and never give up!

Traveling the world with her daughter, visiting family, making friends, helping others and simply enjoying all of her personal interests.   You would never know she suffered from Parkinson’s, chronic back pain and repetitive heart challenges as she attended many charitable and social outings on a daily basis. 

Nothing got in the way of her pursuit at excellence in anything she took on: volunteering, sudoku, singing, needlepoint, physio and speaking exercises.  We will never forget her endless rapping and also practicing her voice exercise with words like “Sunshine, Prunes”.

Mom, grandma, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, we miss you dearly and will struggle to fill the void for years to come.

“When Toby speaks, everyone listens”

Donations in her memory can be sent to the following charitable organizations: 

*Parkinson’s Association of Orange County

7700 Irvine Center Dr., Ste 800 

Irvine, CA 92618

Checks should be made out to Orange County Tremble Clefs – note Toby Kalish in subject line. 

* Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Woods

Attn: Rabbi Stillerman


Acknowledgements to Lauren Kalish PO Box 10185 Greensboro NC 27404


Source: Orange County Register

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