Written by her daughter, Jacqueline Dubowsky

Irma Dubowsky (née Manecofsky) passed away on Saturday, March 23, 2024, of natural causes at her home at Allegro, in Winter Park, Fla. She was 98.

Irma was born on Nov. 15, 1925, in Dorchester, Mass., the first child of Joseph and Bella Manecofsky (née Linsky).

Irma loved fashion, and she continued to dress impeccably all her life. Even at 98 she still dressed for dinner every night, put on make-up, and had her hair and nails done every week.

Irma had a warm and loving childhood, growing up in different neighborhoods of Boston, surrounded by her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins, as was common in a typical Jewish family. Irma learned the art of cooking from her mother, Bella, who imparted a real flare and love for cooking and entertaining.

After Irma finished high school, she was accepted to the Massachusetts School of Art, in 1943, during which she was recruited by the Department of Defense to become a draftsman for the war effort. Irma was also employed by the Atomic Energy Commission.  

On a blind date, set up by life-long friends, she met a dashing, young USAF B-24 pilot, from Mineola, N.Y., Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Dubowsky. After nine dates, Bob popped the question, and on the 10th date, Irma accepted. They were married for 59 years until Bob's passing in February 2011.   

As the wife of an active-duty U.S. Air Force pilot, stationed around the world, Irma was expected to hold cocktail parties, social gatherings, and dinners in their home.

Bob and Irma started their life together in Texas, then four years in post-war, bombed out London, England, from 1953 -1957. They traveled the Continent from one end to the other in a brand-new Porsche convertible they purchased. After their tour of England was over, they went back to Texas, then to Crete, Greece for two and a half years, finishing off active duty in Madison, Wisconsin. They made life-long friends, both with their military counterparts and with the local civilians they met in each location. The fun and games had to be recalibrated at the beginning of the 1960s with the arrival of their daughters, Jacqueline and Susan.

Bob retired from active-duty military service in 1964. They bought a house in Satellite Beach, Fla., and it was there that they raised their two daughters. Irma's innate talent for all things artistic blossomed, and she excelled as a wonderful oil and water-color artist, winning several awards for her paintings in local art competitions. She also tried her hand at flower arranging, winning many Florida State championships. Along with her passion for the arts, Irma was an adept bridge player, and played religiously for over 70 years. She played bridge at least twice per week. In fact, Irma played bridge the Sunday before she passed. She also loved to bowl and was a member of a bowling league in Satellite Beach for 40 years. She was a voracious reader and participated in many book clubs.   

Irma was a member of many organizations and clubs. Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood, Hadassah, Indian Harbor Beach Garden Club. She was passionate about her volunteer work as a docent at the Melbourne Museum of Art. Bob and Irma were also members of the PAFB Officer's Club and the Eau Gallie Yacht Club.  

Once Bob retired, they travelled extensively in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii and worldwide to faraway places like Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey. They made their legendary bi-annual trips to Israel, for more than 30 years, to visit Susan and Micky, and their grandchildren.  

Irma's concluding chapter of life began in February 2018 when she moved from the family home of 55 years to her new home at Allegro in Winter Park, Fla. 

Irma flourished at Allegro. She met the most wonderful people there and many became close friends, especially while enduring a pandemic together, separated from their families. The activities kept her busy from morning until Jeopardy at 7 p.m. She played bridge twice per week, and attended the weekly art classes, book club, the daily exercise classes, drumming classes, chair yoga, trips to The Winter Park Playhouse, presentations from The Rollins Museum of Art, and many other things.

The family would like to thank the Jewish Pavilion, particularly Susan Bernstein, for the wonderful Shabbat and holiday programs that they provided to Irma, and the other residents.

Irma was a loving daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. We will forever remember our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Irma, with profound love, respect and gratitude. The family would like to thank Ms. Jennifer Gordon for her loving care of Ms. Irma these past several years.

Irma is survived by her daughters, Jacqueline Dubowsky (Farlen Halikman) of Orlando and Susan Dubowsky-Nehab (Micky) of Beit Yitzak, Israel; grandchildren - Emilia Lebovitz (Michael), Lyla Berlant (Sam), Ben Nehab (Tal) Dana Nehab (Yoav Goldbaum), Karen Nehab and Ron Nehab; Great-grandchildren - Henry of Palm Harbor; Jonah of Orlando; and David, Yuli, Ella, Adam of Beit Yitzak, Israel.

Irma is also survived by her only sibling, Lois Allen, nephew Bruce, and niece Robin, all of California.  

A private funeral was held at the Mt. Hebron section of Florida Memorial Gardens in Rockledge, Fla., with Rabbi Zvi Konikov of Chabad of the Space and Treasure Coast officiating.

May her memory be a blessing and may her family be comforted by the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

Donations in Irma's memory may be made to Friends of the IDF,  The Jewish National Fund, Chabad of the Space Coast,Temple Beth Shalom of Melbourne, or any organization of your choice.


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