Renee Arditti Blatt (d. 2010).


Blatt, Renee Arditti Sept. 11, 1909 - April 2, 2010 Renée Arditti Blatt passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, April 2nd in Littleton, CO. She was 100. The widow of Professor Emeritus Josef Blatt of the University of Michigan School of Music, she had been a long-time resident of Ann Arbor. Born in Vienna, Austria on September 11, 1909 to Dr. and Mrs. Isaac Arditti, she lived for several years in Switzerland before returning to Vienna in 1921. In 1936, she met her future husband, a gifted pianist, conductor and composer, and on March 26, 1937 they were married. In November of that year, they came to America. Within a year, Josef was able to continue the successful career that had begun in Europe, conducting orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and working as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. Both of their children were born in New York, Katherine Anne in 1942, and Steven Eric in 1945. In 1951, Renée and Josef moved to Ann Arbor where Josef had been appointed to the position of conductor of the symphonies and the head of the opera department at the U-M School of Music. Renée went way beyond the expected duties of a faculty wife, volunteering in many organizations, hosting faculty and students after performances and often inviting students over for dinners when they couldn't get home for the holidays. After nearly 25 years at the University of Michigan, Josef retired and, beginning in 1975, they divided their time between a summer home in Lakes of the North, MI and a winter home in Green Valley, AZ. In both locations they established groups called The Friends of Music to present and perform concerts. These organizations continue to this day. After Josef's death in 1999, Renée lived for a few more years in Arizona and then decided to move to Denver where her son, Steve, lives. It was in Colorado that Renée celebrated her 100th birthday six months ago, at a picnic in the mountains. She was joined by her children and grandchildren, as well as some good friends from Ann Arbor who surprised her at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Renée always loved nature. She was a hiker, cyclist and swimmer for most of her long life. Her children remember many cross-country drives with their Mother at the wheel. She was also an enthusiastic recorder player, bridge player and Democratic political activist, voting in every election since she became a naturalized US citizen more than 60 years ago. Renée Blatt was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Sophie, and her loving husband Josef. She remains an inspiration to countless friends and her children, Steven Blatt and his wife Katie in Denver; Katherine Blatt Kahn and her husband Steven in Ann Arbor; and her grandsons, Benjamin Josef Blatt in New York and David Ethan Blatt in California. A family service is planned for later in the year.

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