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Muriel Rotter, 92, died on January 19, 2021. Born in Madison, Muriel was the third of four children of Sara and Arthur Sweet. Muriel attended Randall Elementary School, just a block from the family home on Spooner Street, Madison West Junior High School, and Milwaukee Downer Seminary, from which she graduated. After a year at the University of Wisconsin, she transferred to the University of California—Los Angeles, where she received a degree in psychology.
She became a nursery school teacher in Chicago, often visiting her parents in Madison on weekends. She met Roy Rotter on a date at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison—they were there with other people—and they married in 1952. After a stint in Seattle, Washington, where Roy was deployed during the Korean War, the couple returned to Madison for good, buying a house on the near west side in 1955. Roy was a physician in private practice; Muriel stayed home to raise their family: Andrew, born in 1953; Sari (1954); and Nancy (1962).
Muriel was a superb cook and an inventive baker. She loved to travel, to spend time with extended family, and to organize parties with close friends. She identified strongly with her home town and the southern Wisconsin countryside; she had a surprising affinity for cows. A member of the first confirmation class at Beth El Temple, Muriel took an active interest in the synagogue’s affairs, and was a constant volunteer for Madison Hadassah, Jewish Social Services, and other local organizations. Muriel had a gift with children. She adored and was devoted to her own, and she doted on and delighted in spending time with her grandchildren. She was a woman of wit, intelligence, and uncommon generosity.
Roy predeceased her in 2013. Surviving her are her children: Andrew (Padma Kaimal), of Hamilton, NY; Sari (William Gardner), of Brookline, MA; and Nancy (Todd Wilson), of Roslindale, MA; five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Interment services will be private. In lieu of flowers, Muriel’s family welcome contributions in her name to Madison Jewish Social Services or Agrace Hospice.
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