Obituary: Rachel Eleanor Rubin, 1990-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Rachel Eleanor Rubin, 1990-2024 

Essex woman’s journey of helping people was filled with insightfulness, empathy and kindness

Published January 9, 2024 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated January 9, 2024 at 12:15 p.m.

click to enlarge Rachel Rubin - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Rachel Rubin

It is with great sorrow we announce that Rachel Eleanor Rubin passed away at the young age of 33 on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. She went peacefully in her sleep at her apartment in Essex, Vt., due to an unforeseen heart condition.

While the suddenness of her passing leaves us heartbroken and empty, we are filled with gratitude for every second we had with her. Rachel’s passion for life was unmatched, and in her short time on this earth she was already healing others and changing the world.

Rachel was born on August 15, 1990, in Bennington, Vt. Rachel attended local schools in Wilmington, Vt., before starting high school at Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts, then returning to Wilmington and graduating from Twin Valley High School in 2008. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Vermont in Burlington at the top of her class, with a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in economics.

Following college, Rachel became a certified personal trainer and barre class instructor. She also worked in business insurance and even as a barista around the greater Burlington area. Her passions were ignited in a profound way when she was introduced to practicing and teaching rolfing, a form of holistic bodywork which provides improved body structure, comfort and ease through realigning connective tissue, namely fascia. As a structural integration practitioner, Rachel had an innate ability to open one's eyes up to new ways of thinking and moving and how to nurture a meaningful connection to the body. Ever the advocate, Rachel tended to each client's journey as if they were her only focus, championing their successes as if they were her own. She found immense pride and fulfillment in her work, and those who knew her in these latter years were gifted a front-row seat as she evolved on her journey of helping people. In summer 2023, Rachel opened her own rolfing practice called Lined Vitality in Montpelier, while continuing to work and teach at Bodywork Architectures in Burlington. The impact of Rachel’s presence, teachings and actions will continue to be transformative for her students, clients and every life she touched. Rachel was truly poised to change the world.

Being a lifelong student of the human body and experience, Rachel valued both physical and spiritual health. She was a natural athlete, playing high school soccer and helping lead her team to the 2007 Division III Vermont State Championship. She also played basketball and lacrosse in addition to snowboarding and hiking. She was a devoted yogi and runner and had most recently taken up paddleboarding. Mindfulness and intentionalism were an important part of her sense of self, as she also took great care immersing herself in cozy hobbies including crafting and coloring, crystals, holistic wellness, reading, and music. The deep connection she had with nature gave her balance and fostered her love for both people and the world around her.

Rachel’s ability to hold space for everyone was one of her many gifts. Her insightfulness, empathy and kindness allowed her to see the best in everyone. Those who were fortunate enough to know her knew she was eternally on your side as your biggest advocate, best cheerleader and safest friend. As Rachel would say, “You matter.”

Rachel had a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh. Her beautiful smile filled the whole world with love. She never took a bad picture. Everyone, including children and animals, adored her. She often quoted from two favorite family movies, The Big Lebowski (“That’s just your opinion, man” and “This aggression will not stand” and “Rachel abides”) and Nacho Libre (“Take it easy”). These were always followed by a great laugh.

Rachel leaves many, including her father, Bob Rubin, and his partner, Sindy Hassig; her mother, Sonja Nilsen, her partner, Sookraj Singh, and his children; her sister Sarah Rubin and adored nephew and godson, Walter; her sister Kyla Lavoy and her father, Chris Lavoy; her “heart mom,” Teresa Friol; and her stepsiblings, Carson and Julia Fillion. Along with endless loving family, friends, coworkers and clients, she will also be deeply missed and forever cherished by Greg Garcia. Rachel now takes her place in Valhalla with her beloved maternal grandparents, Alf and Eleanor Nilsen, along with her adored paternal grandparents, Ray and Wanda Rubin.

A memorial service for Rachel will be held on Thursday, January 18, 2024, 11 a.m., at the West Dover Congregational Church, 104 Route 100, West Dover, VT, followed immediately by a reception at Haystack Golf Course’s the Stack Restaurant, 70 Spyglass La., Wilmington, VT. There will also be an outdoor celebration of life later this spring in the Burlington area.

In lieu of flowers, we welcome everyone who knew Rachel to make a donation in her name to any charitable cause found worthwhile. What matters to you would matter to her.

While the emptiness of a world without her light is impossibly daunting, Rachel would want everyone who knew and loved her to find peace, pursue joy and continue to spread the authentic kindness that she lived by. As Rachel would say, “Namaste.”

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