Minnie Rothback

New York, Kings, New York, United States

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Ludmilla Rothback (Spanier)

Also Known As: "Minnie"
Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Death: August 29, 1969 (75)
New York, Kings, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Saddle Brook, Bergen County , New Jersey
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Moses Spanier and Mina Spanier
Wife of Abe Rothback
Mother of Doris R Cayton and Morton Roberts
Sister of Jack Spanier; Bea Weisenfeld; Laura Davis; Ben Spanier and Augusta Macy

Managed by: Larry Dantus
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Minnie Rothback

From Trish Cayton

Minnie (Ludmilla) Spanier Rothback

(Born May 28, l894. Died August 29, l969)

Brian Cayton’s Grandmother on his mother’s side

Abe Rothback married Minnie on Sunday evening, Dec. 25, l916.

They met at a Lodge dance. He found an earring that Minnie had lost.

Minnie was living at the time at 219 East 7th Street, 4th floor, in New York City. (Between Ave B&C).They were married at Casino Hall at 85 East 4th Street in New York.


Minnie had 3 sisters and 2 brothers. Jack, Laura, Gussie, Ben and Bea (the silent movie “star” who’s first husband died in an accident when her child was a baby. That baby, Jessie, died when HIS child was a baby!).

Manhattan Beach:

Minnie and Abe moved to Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn in the l930’s

A long commute for Abe to the garment center, but a doctor told him it might help his Menieres (ringing in his ears). He suffered all his life from this. But because he moved there Doris Rothback, his daughter, met Bill Cayton, who also lived near there.

Memories of Manhattan Beach where Abe,Minnie, Doris and Morton lived:

Morton Roberts (Doris’s brother) remembers Manhattan Beach in an e-mail to Trish Cayton on May 23, 2001:

Abe said the restaurant, Lundys was THE place to dine on Seafood. Grandma Minnie used to walk there, when she could afford it, and purchase a dozen steam clams for  25 cents, not often.

Sheepshead Bay was the home for one of the largest fleet of fishing boats and Abe, his father, used to go, quite often, on his days off. He couldn’t wait to take his son on one of these fishing trips, but Morton says he had a miserable time throwing up from the time the boat left the dock to the time it returned, (which is very funny as Morton joined the Marines in WWII and served on the famous SS Boxer . For 50 years he had yearly re-unions with his friends from the Boxer).

Morton says they lived on 150 Oxford Street from l931-l939. Then they moved around the corner to 1608 Shore Blvd, it was between Oxford Street and Norfork Court. It faced the Bay. This is the address where Bill Cayton went to visit Doris Rothback when they started dating. The street was named after a street in London, as were all of the streets in Manhattan Beach. The street wasn’t paved yet.

Supermarkets weren’t invented yet. Morton says there were fruit and vegetable trucks that came around selling produce. In the morning there was always a milkman to deliver milk. He also provided everyone with butter, cheese and sometimes eggs. When Minnie had to do any other shopping she had to take a bus that cost a nickel. There was a grocer for canned goods and cereals. You had to go to a butcher for meat, chicken and liver. If Abe had a good time fishing, they didn’t need to buy meat.

The stores were on West End Avenue and Minnie could only purchase as much as she could carry in two large brown bags on the bus back. But, he says, she usually didn’t have enough money to buy an arm full.

Morton says they couldn’t afford a refrigerator, but had an ice box and every day or two, the ice man came around and Minne would buy a large cake of ice for 15 or 25 cents.

In the late l930’s Abe (his father) bought a second hand l929 Chevy. It spent more time in the repair shop then on the road. He had to get rid of it. After a few more years he bought a used, four-door, l931 Chevy. This was exciting because he then could take Minnie shopping in Brighton Beach.

Morton and Doris went to public school 225. There were no school buses and they had to walk the few miles, hot or cold, rain or shine. Morton says it sounds like hard times but they really enjoyed what ever few, little things they had.

Morton says he remembers Minnie’s father, Moses Spanier. Morton says when he was about four years old, he remembers loving him very much. He says he remembers one of his fingers had a hook shaped nail. It just coiled over the end of his finger. When he asked him about it, Moses told him he was injured during the war. No one in the family ever mentioned his being in the war (It was BEFORE World War I. At the end of the 19th century there was always some kind of war between the Europeans Countries).

Special Qualities of Minnie:

Her daughter, Doris, remembers her mother “as a strong and gentle woman. She had a tender heart and a tender word of comfort even when she herself was in torment. She drew her strength from love. Her love was steadfast.” To almost the last day of her life Minnie spoke with love of her mother. She always felt that her mother was waiting for her. Minnie was fiercely devoted to her children. She would have laid down her life for her children, with no question. She felt her grandchildren were her gems. They were all alike in her eyes. All perfect to her.

She was devoted to her husband, Abe (“The most wonderful man in the world”, she called him practically her last conscious breath. “No wonder I love him”, she said, just before she died, “he was a devoted and selfless man”. She said she appreciated him almost every day. She adored all her sisters and brother and would do anything she could for them.

Her granddaughter, Trish, agrees she was the sweetest, kindest person she every met.

She loved to play mahjong all day long at the beach in Sheepshead Bay.

Minnie was an extraordinary knitter. Endless afghans and sweaters, on the tiniest needles (often size 0”!), with the most complex patterns imaginable. I don’t remember every seeing her without her knitting…ever, ever.

Minnie loved TV soap operas, and one of her “biggest moments” was watching a man land on the moon. (July 20, l969) She couldn’t get over that.

Doris Cayton said her mother had barely enough money for food and yet would save quarters to pay for her to have dancing lessons and elocution lessons; or more quarters to save up the $2 or $3 dollars to buy her a new bathing suit, often penny by penny as she did her passementerie (fancy edging or trimming sewing work) homework at night, which her father would pick up in the morning (when he left the house at 5am to do this) and bring home at night. He would do the supper dishes so she could sit down and start sewing and when he finished the dishes he would sit down and help Minnie by pinning the work, if it was to be sewn, and ironing the work if it needed ironing. In addition, before he left for work at 5am, he would bring in coal each day to keep their “central heating system” fueled. This was a square coal stove which sat in the living room and always had a kettle of water sitting on top of it because the kettle was the supply of hot water for washing dishes.

Abe and Minnie Rothback last address of their lives in Brooklyn:

2850 Shore Parkway, Brooklyn, NY

Morton Roberts –Is Doris Rothback’s brother. He changed his name from Rothback to Roberts. He married Dolores in l952 and had two daughters, April and Geri. Geri had a wonderful daughter, Meghan (born l988) and they live in Ocala, Florida.

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Minnie Rothback's Timeline

May 28, 1894
Vienna, Austria
September 16, 1921
Age 27
New York, New York, United States
April 14, 1925
Age 30