10/16/1969 — 09/20/2009
The summer of 2003 brought unimagined tragedy to the peace Rina had found, with a diagnosis of malignant melanoma. In the words of a close friend, “Rina is not a fighter, she’s a brawler.” Being the fighter that she was, Rina fought cancer head-on, never giving up and willing to try anything that might work. Throughout all of her surgeries and treatments, Rina kept on fighting, and Rina fought her final battle with grace, courage, and an uncompromising sense of humor.
She often quoted Maya Angelou, “Surviving is important, thriving is elegant.” She did thrive, and she basked in the love and support of so many incredible friends and family members. In her unforgettable elegance, RIna shined. Rina was always laughing, her smile lighting up the room. She gave of herself, maintaining strong friendships and connections with so many people that touched her life along the way. She saw the best in everyone, did everything she could to bring that out and make it shine, demanding and inspiring those closest to her to be the best we could be.
Haywood Robinson, friend