Lola Grabb

Lola Lipsitz Grabb died peacefully at her home in Tucson on Sept. 29, 2018 due to complications related to cancer. Lolita (as she became known to friends) was born on March 20, 1929, in Santiago de Cuba to Julio and Emma Lipsitz, immigrants to Cuba from Lithuania. Lolita first came to the United States to attend the University of Missouri where she received a BA in 1950 before returning to Havana to teach elementary school. She married the love of her life, Dr. Samuel Grabb, in 1952. A temporary move with their two toddler sons to Florida in 1957 became permanent when Lolita and Sam chose to stay in the United States after weighing what their and their family’s futures might look like in the U.S. vs in Castro’s Cuba. When Sam and Lolita relocated to Tucson in 1962, the dry, mountainous landscape of the town they rolled into on a July afternoon looked vastly different from her familiar tropics, but over time Lolita fell in love with the desert, the community, and the wonderful friends she made. Together, the couple built a robust and full life; Sam practiced urology while Lolita raised their three boys. After obtaining a master’s degree in Spanish-American literature, she taught Spanish in a variety of venues, including Pima Community College. Later, Lolita co-authored (with her writing partner, Onyria Herrera McElroy) the Spanish-English/English-Spanish Medical Dictionary, a resource to the health care community that evolved over its four editions. As a couple, Lolita and Sam shared passions for learning, literacy, tennis, the symphony, and all things cultural, including dance. Lolita was a never-ending personal improvement project, striving to not only always be/do better, but also find the best/most efficient way of doing everything. After Sam passed in 1996, Lolita found great comfort in dear friends as well as sharing time and adventures with her adoring and adored sister, Anita. Mostly, Lolita was a devoted, patient and supportive wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend. Her children and grandkids were her raison d’etre. Lola (or “La Lola”, a sign-off she adopted later in life) is survived by her sister, Anita Stone; her children Albert, Robert, and James; her daughter-in-law Sarah Stenn, and her loving grandkids, Ari, Jacob, Chloe, Emma, Madeline, Samantha and Ethan (all Grabbs). She was preceded in death by her husband, Sam Grabb. Memorial contributions may be made to the ADL (