SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 23, 2013

Naomi "Tootsie" Rudsten, 89


Beverly, MA — Tootsie Rudsten died peacefully surrounded by her adored and adoring children, Jeffrey and Laini.

Naomi Rudsten was born in Beverly, Mass., on January 10, 1924, to Abraham and Ida Yaffa. The youngest of four sisters, Ethel, Gladys, and Blanche, she instantly became the charmer she was to remain the rest of her life. With her beautiful looks, her gentle presence, her wit and intelligence, she garnered friends and admirers everywhere she went. During the war years, she was enticed to drop a serious boyfriend by the persistent and dashing Oscar Rudsten whom she couldn’t resist. They were married on July 6, 1944, and had three children, Sherry, Jeffrey and Laini. Tootsie was always the welcoming and generous hostess who fed family and friends with her amazing cooking. That didn’t stop her from starting a successful real estate business which flourished so rapidly that Oscar closed his advertising business to join ranks with her. Always the animal lover, she carried dog biscuits in her pocketbook to make four-legged friends everywhere she went. Her last pet was a kitty named Yedi who adopted her, following her on daily walks until he was finally invited in to stay.

Tootsie is predeceased in death by her husband, Oscar, and daughter, Sherry. She is survived by her children, Jeffrey and Laini; as well as her eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; her cat, Yedi; and a granddog, Tootsie, who is named after her. The family would like to thank her lifelong friend, Brenda, who shared many laughs and good times with her. Also her friend, Kim, who remained loyal through goodies in the mail and constant phone calls. We are deeply grateful to her niece, Susan, who lived with her the last years of her life, providing a level of friendship and care that Oscar would have said was "beyond the beyond." Katie and Nancy also assisted in her care. These dear ladies were more than caretakers, they were wonderful friends. We are also deeply grateful to Dr. Deborah Shih whose house calls and attentive care where so appreciated. Finally, we thank the staff of Kaplan House where Tootsie spent her last days in a comfortable, capable and peaceful setting.

Tootsie will be remembered for her love of ice cream and ice cold cosmos, her snazzy style, full of color and leopard prints and always matching eyeglasses and jewelry! We will remember how she cooked and entertained, was successful in business and proved that a woman, could indeed, do it all. Mostly, she will be remembered for her sunshine personality that warmed everyone in its glow and will warm all who knew her forever. Jeffrey felt that to be with Tootsie was like having a warm gentle breeze blow across your face. There was no tension to Toot, no artifice; what you saw is what you got; love, laughter and a wonderful heart.

The family requests donations in her honor go to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, so that more little animals might receive biscuits from her hand.