Miriam Moss Naftal
May 16, 1915 – October 11, 2012
Miriam Moss Naftal, loving wife and aunt, was called home on Oct. 11, 2012 at the age of 97 in Austin, Texas. She was born on May 16, 1915 in East Burke, Vermont to the Reverend George Wesley Keeling and Charlotte Moss Keeling, both immigrants from Liverpool, England. As the daughter of a Methodist minister, her family re-located whenever her father was assigned to another church. Perhaps that is why she was such a spunky, free-spirit with a sense of adventure and a great sense of humor. As an adult, she lived in Niagara Falls, NY, San Francisco, CA, Miami, Florida, and Austin, TX. She graduated from West High School in Rochester, New York where she was active in tennis, hiking, choir and voice recitals. Her love of music led her to enroll in a post graduation music program. Although music was important to her and she had a beautiful voice, she chose to work in assorted retail and secretarial positions. Later she managed apartments in Miami, Florida where she lived for over 50 years. At the age of 87, she sold her car and her condo and called her niece to help her move to Austin to start a new life closer to some of her family. She brought her clothes, cookbooks (especially the vegetarian ones), a few kitchen items, her travel books, photographs, and cards from her husband of 37 years. Thus began a 10 year adventure in Texas. In January 2005, she grabbed her walker and boarded a plane for Rochester, NY to be with her terminally ill sister. Fourteen hours later she landed in the blizzard of 2005, and with the assistance of Joan and Eddie Morales, she had a 3 day visit with her younger sister in Canandaigua, NY. Once again, at the age of almost 90, her spunk and determination shone through. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Emmanuel Naftal; parents George and Charlotte Keeling; sister, Verna Kelly; and brothers-in-laws, Jack Thonet, Dr. William Owen and Dr. Mike Kelly. Left to celebrate her life are two sisters, Grace Thonet of Austin, TX and Charlotte Owen of Laguna Hills, CA. Also left to remember her with fondness are 4 nieces, Joan Morales and husband, Eduardo (Austin, TX); Jacqueline Thonet and husband, David Di Elsi (Williston, VT); Patricia Taylor and husband, Peter (Oceanside, CA); Susan Kravitz and husband, Saul (Mountain View, CA); 2 nephews, John Thonet and wife, Kathi (Pittstown, NJ); Dr. William Owen, Jr. and wife, Debbie (Orange, CA); 6 great nieces, Julie Henderson and husband, William (New Richmond, WI); Dr. Andrea Morales Ketcham and husband, Dr. Jonathan Ketcham (Scottsdale, AZ); Hannah Thonet Bermudez and husband, Miguel (NYC, NY); Dr. Rebecca B. Thonet (Summit, NJ); Brooke Lipsker and husband, Josh (Corona del Mar, CA), Alison Owen (Santa Ana, CA); 3 great grand nephews, Dean and Graham Ketcham (Scottsdale, AZ); Kyle Henderson (New Richmond, WI); and 1 great grand niece, Sydney Henderson(New Richmond, WI). The family is grateful for the compassionate care provided by Heart to Heart Hospice and the wonderful Assisted Living and Healthcare staff at Emeritus at Spicewood Springs. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Heart to Heart Hospice, 4009 Banister Lane, Austin, TX 78704; your local Meals on Wheels; or the charity of your choice. Graveside services are pending at Woodlawn Cemetery in Wellsville, NY. Arrangements are being handled by Cook-Walden funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas and Embser Funeral Home in Wellsville, NY.