Rubenstein / Schilansky Family Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Field of Interest                 DATE ESTABLISHED:  September 11, 1991 

PURPOSE:  To honor Kenneth “Honey” Rubenstein (1917-1974) and Ellen Arnold Rubenstein (1923-1980), residents of Thomas and Haskel (1902-1991) and Goldie Poling Nestor Schilansky (1923-1990). 

DISTRIBUTION:  The original letter states, “We…prefer that the funds be used for recreational opportunities, particularly in the Thomas-Davis area…the basketball and tennis courts in Thomas may be a worthwhile project.  We will not restrict the Foundation in the use of the funds; only that the Foundation considers our hope that the money can be used in a manner which benefits the children and adults of Tucker county.”  Upon the recommendation of the Grants Committee and approval by the full board of directors for Tucker Community Foundation.                               

VARIANCE POWER:  If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund.

FUNDING:  Contributions from the four sons of Mr. and Mrs. Rubenstein with personal checks totaling $6,000; $500 from Westmoreland Coal Company, and a pledge to provide the remaining $3,500 within five years.  In December 1996, the brothers elected to combine the two family finds, using the money which had been generated from their contributions and the interest during the five years. 

BACKGROUND:  James E. Rubenstein of Grafton, WV, Robert L. Rubenstein of Cross Lanes, WV, and F. Thomas and Harry M. “Moe” Rubenstein of Morgantown, WV, the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Rubenstein, contacted TCF with the purpose of establishing endowed funs, the Rubenstein Family Fund and also the Schilansky Family Fund.

Kenneth Rubenstein was a son of Ruby and Celia Schilansky Rubenstein, owners of one of the first two businesses in Thomas.  He helped to operate the family business, Ruby’s Meat Market, and from the early 1960’s until his death in l974 was superintendent of Davis Correctional Center. Ellen Arnold Rubenstein was a daughter of Lawrence and Floda Turner Arnold.  She was a homemaker, an active supporter of Tucker County 4-H Clubs, and a member of the Woman’s Club.  She was employed at the Tucker County Bank in Parsons at the time of her death, November 7, 1980.  In addition to her sons, Mrs. Rubenstein was survived by three sisters, Wilma Melkus of Davis, Wilda Hile of Oakland, MD, and Louise Kirby of Lost Creek; and two brothers, Harry Arnold of Orlando, FL and Junior Arnold of upstate New York.

The Rubenstein brothers also chose to honor an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Haskel Schilansky. A native of Barbour County, Nellie Goldie Poling Schilansky was reared by an uncle named Payne.  In early adulthood, she was a taxi cab driver in Baltimore and, after coming to Tucker County, married Mr. Schilansky.  After retirement, she was very active in the Tucker County Senior Center where she played piano and organ for the Goldenaires, and owned an extensive collection of sheet music. Mrs. Schilansky, 67, died July 21, 1990.  She was survived by her husband, Haskel Schilansky of Parsons; a son, James Ray Nestor of Manassas, VA; a step-son, Robert Kay of Houston, TX; two daughters, Ronda Nestor of Baltimore, MD and Mildred Bleckley of Powder Springs, GA; three step-daughters, Stella Fitzgerald, Rose Mary Perkeridge of Baltimore, Joan Bernstein of Merrick, NY; two half-sisters, Mrs. Daisy Miller of Niles, OH and Mr. Anna Wiles of Lumberport; six grandchildren; 19 step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by two husbands, one brother and one step-son.

Haskel Schilansky was born Sept. 20, 1902 at Thomas, a son of the late Barney and Sarah Cohen Schilansky.  He died Jan. 28, 1991 in Davis Memorial Hospital, Elkins, WV.  Mr. Schilansky lived his early years in Thomas and for many years owned a grocery store in Parsons.  He was a retired employee of the State of West Virginia, in Weights and Measures, and was a member of the American Legion of Buckhannon.  He was survived by a son, Robert Schilansky of Houston, TX; two step-sons, Jim Propst of Parsons and Roy Nestor of Manassas, VA; a daughter, Joan Bernstein of Merrick, NY; three step-daughters, Poly Roberts of Lola, IN Ronda Nestor of Baltimore, MD, Mildred Bleckley of Powder Springs, GA; two sisters, Lil Schilansky of Thomas and Bess Lebby of Pearl River, NY; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; five step-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren.