Rachel Greenspan Perelman, 80, passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2017.
Rachel was born in Ario de Rosales, Michoacán, México, to Tania and Nathan Greenspan in 1937. While Rachel was born in Mexico, she was raised in Brownsville, Texas. Rachel met the love of her life, Manuel Perelman, in 1957 while she was on a date with someone else. Thirty days later they were engaged. They married one year later and were married for over 57 years when Manuel preceded her in death.
In 1962, Rachel and Manuel moved to Brownsville from Mexico City where they jointly established Rachel Perelman Realty and Manuel Perelman Designer and Builder. Rachel became a pioneer in the real estate world, building a successful multi-office business. She was appointed by then Governor Mark White to the Texas Real Estate Commission. Rachel became the first female member of the Texas Real Estate Commission and the first female Chairperson of the Commission. Rachel loved real estate and loved the real estate community in the Valley. Rachel was honored by the Brownsville/SPI Board of Realtors and given an Honorary Membership for "Exhibiting a Great Amount of Outstanding Leadership to the Brownsville/SPI Board of Realtors and to the Real Estate Profession."
Rachel was also passionate about politics and served on the Texas Democratic Executive Committee for numerous years and served as a National Delegate for numerous Presidential candidates including for Michael Dukakis/Lloyd Bentsen and for President Bill Clinton. Rachel was a born leader and could motivate people like no other. Her talents were recognized by elected officials such as Gov. Ann Richards and President Jimmy Carter who even invited her to join him in his motorcade when he came to Brownsville.
Rachel was a true gift. She was a magnificent, beyond capable, lovely and loving person who fulfilled so many roles in graceful, championship style. For those who knew Rachel, they knew her as always impeccably dressed and her make-up perfectly in place. During the last week of her life at the hospital, she wore her lipstick every day and wanted arrangements made to have her hair and nails done. She was a class act in everything she did.
Rachel lived her life to the fullest despite her affliction with Parkinson's disease. While her accomplishments are beyond admirable, Rachel will be most remembered by her family as an amazing and caring mother and wife, who taught the family about kindness and compassion and who always acted in a humble manner and who never turned away requests for help. Her kindness to all, whether she knew you or not, will never be forgotten. Rachel is greatly loved and will be missed beyond words. However, the family is at peace knowing that Rachel is now with Manuel, the love of her life most likely dancing while Manuel sings "Besame Mucho" to her and is no longer in pain.
Rachel was preceded in death by her husband, Manuel Perelman; her parents, Tania and Nathan Greenspan; and by her brother, Abraham Greenspan.
Rachel is survived by her three children: Jacob (Danielle) Perelman of Brownsville, Janie (Toby) Richker of Irving, and Aida (Carl) Jerome of Houston. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Ariel from Houston, Joshua, Charlie, and Hannah from Brownsville, and Alyssa (Dave) and her great-grandson, Adam, from South Carolina.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. today, Sunday, April 30, 2017, at the Hebrew Cemetery located at the corner of East Madison and Second Street.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Rachel's name may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014, 1-800-708-7644 and www.michaeljfox.org or to Temple Beth El, 24 Coveway Street, Brownsville, TX 78521.
Rachel's family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to her caregivers for all their loving dedication to her over the years.