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Harry & Bryant Company

500 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC

OBITUARY

Sonia Kozolchyk Luski

August 1, 1928February 24, 2019

Sonia Kozolchyk Luski died peacefully in her sleep at home in the early morning of February 24, 2019 in the company of her husband Isaac. Sonia was 90 years old. Sonia was the daughter of Elias and Yetta Kozolchyk, both of blessed memory. She was born on August 1, 1928, in Havana, Cuba, the eldest daughter of a Jewish family that had fled persecution in Europe. Sonia was the eldest child of the new Cuban generation and was affectionately called “Sheindl” or “Pretty One” by her parents and extended family.

Sonia’s passing was the culmination of a saga which saw the immigration of her family from Poland to Cuba and thereafter her immigration at age 32 from Cuba to the United States in 1960 with her family and children, escaping the turmoil of Communist Cuba.

Sonia settled with her husband and family in Charlotte where she established a household for her family and children and engaged in the work of adjusting her family to life in a new country. Sonia was the traditional Jewish wife and mother in every respect and yet, at the same she was an accomplished, highly independent and influential individual in her community and beyond.

In Cuba, Sonia graduated from the University of Havana with a BA in Philosophy. As a young woman she spent a year in New York City with relatives absorbing everything New York has to offer and developing a lifelong interest in the intellectual and cultural life of Havana. As a teacher in Havana she was known as Dr. Luski and later in Charlotte she briefly taught Spanish at Charlotte College, the precursor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In Havana, as a young woman Sonia and eventually her husband-to-be Isaac ran around with the art and intellectual circles of Havana. Many of her friends would go on to become Cuba’s intellectual elite and leading artists.

In Charlotte Sonia established herself as an influential fixture in Charlotte’s cultural life and the world beyond. She and Isaac regularly hosted salon parties at their art and music filled home, where their Cuban food and warm hospitality welcomed their dear friends and Charlotte’s leading citizens of the day. Their home was also a regular welcoming stop for the artists they supported and those who came from all over the world to pay them tribute and take inspiration from their company and home.

Sonia was a great trend-setter and trend-spotter. From her art-filled home and hearty Rolodex she dished out inspiration, advice, and ideas to her community. Eventually she and Isaac created a legendary art collection, focusing on art glass which they shared with leading museums and the groups that came to their home. Sonia’s signature idea was the creation of the Sonia and Isaac Luski Gallery along with her husband Isaac and Michael Marsicano at the Foundation for The Carolinas in Charlotte. This gallery, free and open to the public, serves as a gateway to the philanthropic activities of the Foundation for The Carolinas which is housed in the Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy. Sonia, along with her husband Isaac were recently awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolinas highest civic honor, by Governor Cooper.

Through this eventful life Sonia was a devoted wife for 67 years to Isaac and an encouraging positive Jewish mother to her children Moses, Frances and Ellie and her grandchildren Lauren, Emily, Alexa and David. She was a member of Temple Israel and in her prime was fully engaged with her Temple.

That Sonia was able to die peacefully at home is a tribute to her caretaking team which included her husband, daughters and son and also her incredible and loving caretakers including Lita Hernandez and her sister Santos, Kelly Fisher, Grace Fisher, Brenda Sheppard and Chloe Moore.

Sonia is survived by her husband, Isaac Luski; her son, Moses Luski; daughters, Frances Luski and Ellie Valenstein; son-in-law, Robert Valenstein, all of Charlotte;, her grandchildren, Emily Terényi of Vienna, Austria, Lauren Luski of Nashville, Tennessee, Alexa Valenstein and David Valenstein, both of New York City; her great-grandchildren, Theo and Tobias Terényi of Vienna, Austria, and Moses’s fiancée Lori Turner Collins of Charlotte. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Israel, Rabbi's Tzedakah Fund.

Funeral services will be held at 1 pm on Tuesday, February 26 at Temple Israel with Rabbi Murray Ezring officiating. Interment will follow at Hebrew Cemetery.

Services

  • Funeral Service Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Memories

Sonia Kozolchyk Luski

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Wendy Bitzan

March 2, 2019

Isaac, Moses, Frances, and Ellie.

It has been a long time since I've seen any of you. But the memories are still strong. I always found Sonia to be very kind and gracious. You have been blessed to have had so much time with her. I hope that your loving memories will help to fill the void she has left in your lives. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and your families as you navigate through these next few days.

With deepest sympathy,
Wendy

DUDLEY ANDERSON

March 2, 2019

TO THE LUSKI FAMILY:

WHAT I BEAUTIFUL TRIBUTE TO SUCH A BEAUTIFUL LADY.
SHE WAS NOT ONLY AN EXTRAORDINARY LEADER IN THE FIELDS OF SOCIAL, RELIGIOUS, EDUCATIONAL, ART AND MANY OTHER ACTIVITIES AND FAMILY LOVE, SHE WAS AN INCREDIBLE EXAMPLE OF INTEREST IN AND LOVE FOR ALL OTHERS.
IN A GROUP IN HER HOME I ALWAYS FELT THAT SHE WAS INTERESTED IN ONLY ME.
I WILL NEVER FORGET HER.
MOST SINCERELY,
DUDLEY B. ANDERSON

Frank Redd

March 1, 2019

Mr. Issac,
I was very sad to see that Mrs. Luski had passed. All of us at The Wine Shop always enjoyed speaking with her about her wine inquiries.
I always appreciated your business but also your friendship and support. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
May God bless you and heal your broken hearts. May she rest in peace.

Frank Redd and Staff

Laura Grosch

February 25, 2019

Artists Laura Grosch and Herb Jackson enjoyed their first Cuban food and hospitality when Sonia and Isaac Luski invited them to the Luski home in 1970.
We thank Sonia and Isaac for their inspiration and generosity to the artistic life of this community. We send the warmth of this sunny day to Isaac and the children and grand- children and are thankful that Sonia Kozolchyk Luski's life touched ours. Laura and Herb

Mike Kelly

February 25, 2019

Dear Ellie and Isaac,
I am so sorry for your loss. I know words don't mean much at a time like this, however I hope you will find solace in the knowledge that we can't achieve our ultimate goal until our time on earth has ended.
Mike Kelly

Rebeca Bencom Goins

February 25, 2019

Our deepest condolences and prayers to the entire Luski - Valenstein family during this time! Sra. Sonia will be truly missed! 💗

With love,
Rebeca Bencomo Goins
and Bencomo Family

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY