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Elizabeth I. Rothenbusch

Elizabeth Irene Rothenbusch (9/30/1961 - 5/19/2022)


Widely respected and beloved Cleveland area professional violinist, string teacher, and church musician Elizabeth Irene Rothenbusch went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus on May 19, 2022, in northeastern Ohio. Liz was the youngest of eleven children in the family of Jakob and Irene Rothenbusch, German immigrants. Jakob was a bivocational pastor and the family was musical. Liz held degrees in Violin Performance from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory (BM, 1983) and the University of Memphis (MM, 1986) and multiple Suzuki certifications. She began her performance career in her mid-twenties as first violinist in the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, in a professional quartet in Japan and as violinist in the Memphis Symphony. Liz served as violinist for years in the Cleveland Pops, Cleveland Opera, Cleveland/San Jose Ballet and Ohio Chamber Orchestras. She was a beloved first violinist of the Lakeside (Ohio) Summer Symphony for 22 years. This year, amidst her massive battle with pain, Liz became a charter member of the new Snowbelt Symphony Orchestra and valiantly played the inaugural season.


Liz was a master violin teacher with a large private studio and also taught for decades in several music schools in Cleveland. She was loved by her students, many of whom have gone to be professional or active community players. A beloved faculty member at Kentucky Christian String Camp in Louisville for ten years, she founded/ directed or taught at string camps in Fayetteville and Lincoln as well.


As a committed believer in Jesus Christ, Liz dedicated her talents, playing, intellect, and all that she did to His glory alone. She was devoted to the worship music and hospitality ministries at her home church, Gospel Christian Church in Old Brooklyn. She and her husband Harry enjoyed travel, gardening, and helping the elderly. Liz poured herself into the lives of her many nieces and nephews, taking them to state parks, giving them violin lessons, and making countless special memories with them. She was an incredible chef and gardener, always sharing the bounty of her harvest with all those around her.


Liz worked tirelessly for God's justice on behalf of those with no voice and the needy. She sacrificially helped immigrant and refugee families, personally cared for homeless persons, and spent herself in the food distribution ministry at Refuge Church. Liz devoted decades of distinguished volunteer service to Ohio Right to Life, where she will be greatly missed. She collected thousands of signatures in a massive undertaking to bring to the vote a bill protecting the unborn in Ohio. She organized, booked and produced an entire series of "Musicians for Life" fundraising concerts to benefit Christian crisis pregnancy centers.


Despite her great talents and accomplishments, Liz was humble and made herself a servant to all. She loved nature, fresh air, good food, humor, swimming, brisk walks, and new adventures. Liz Rothenbusch will be deeply missed by her large family in North America and Europe, by friends near and far, by hundreds of devoted students and longtime colleagues across the Cleveland arts community. She will be remembered by all who knew her for her infectious joy of life, her passion for musical excellence, her artistry and ability to share that beauty, her vivacious personality and smile, her kind and caring heart for people and above all, her dedication to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Liz's lifelong passion was that others would know Him as well.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Gospel Christian Church, P.O. Box 609024., Cleveland, OH 44109 or to Ohio Right to Life - www.ohiolife.org/donate.

On Friday June 3 at 6pm there will be a Celebration of Life Service at The Church of the Evangelic Faith located at 6227 Broadview Road, Parma, Ohio 44134. Doors will open to the Public at 5pm.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Rothenbusch, please visit our flower store.


When I think of Liz, I remember rooming together during Lakeside Symphony season. One morning, I was suffering from a cold. She insisted on fixing my breakfast so I could rest a bit longer. It made her happy to do things like that.

Teresa Hargrove Jun 15 2022 10:14 AM

Liz and I had a lifetime friendship, I was 3 years old and Liz was 4 when we started playing together. In the photo I included when we were kids, Liz is the one standing on the left and I'm the one sitting in front of her. I lived a couple doors down from her and my German Mother and Grandmother developed a friendship with her Mother. Liz and I shared the same birthdate, September 30th which just connected us into what I felt was a sister-like relationship. We spent a lot of Summers together after I moved to Brecksville, Ohio when I was 4 years old. We would alternate whose house we would stay at, one Summer at my house and the next at hers. Liz loved staying at my house because we had a Television which she became fascinated watching it since in her household her parents wouldn't allow Television. As we became adults and I moved to Arizona, we didn't see each other until many years later but we always kept in touch during our Birthdays and Holidays. The second photo was taken in the year 2000 when I returned to Ohio for a visit. I have been very blessed to have had Liz in my life, she will forever remain in my heart as she always has been there. My deepest sympathy to Harry and her family. Unfortunately I found out about her passing on June 4th, too late to attend the memorial. Shortly before that it had dawned on me that she hadn't posted anything on Facebook in a few weeks so I became concerned and then found this obituary. We all get consumed by our responsibilities in life and with work that time just passes by too quickly. The last time I spoke with Liz we had talked about getting together for our birthday in September. I will have to celebrate without her and remember all the good times we had together. She is with the Lord now and will forever be without pain or sorrow, or dealing with the problems in this world, and for that, I am happy for her.

Faye Raya Jun 6 2022 7:17 PM

My Deepest Sympathy, Love and 🙏🏻 Prayers to All Liz’s Families and Friends.I had the awesome blessing of meeting Liz when she would play her beautiful angelic music 🎶 in the orchestra when I was singing in Promise. Truly Liz was an amazing vessel of bringing God’s Gracious Love 💗 and His word through her beautiful music! There’s something we should not forget.— That people we’ve known, or heard of, or met by indirection have a big part in molding the thoughts of the mind and the heart. ~Helen Steiner Rice~. A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his step. Proverbs. 16:9

Jo Ann Carr Jun 3 2022 7:25 PM

So sorry and stunned to hear of Liz's passing. She was a skilled violinist and I truly enjoyed playing with her at True North and at St. Peter's church. Liz was very friendly and welcoming and always greeted me with kindness. I cannot imagine the music scene without her. Blessings and prayers to her family. Our thoughts are with you.
Paula and Steve Novak

Paula and Steve Novak Jun 3 2022 4:45 PM

It is 1:41pm on June 3 and I just now learned of Elizabeth's passing. I am so sorry for the loss the Rothenbusch family is now facing. Grief is certainly a love word. Had we not loved the person who passed, there would be no grief. However, it can be overwhelming at times when you find yourself missing your loved one who is no longer present. Praise God, we can grieve with hope and joy! I know you all know she is with the Lord now. I remember sitting in the living room at the Rothenbusch home church as a teenager and little Liz sitting with us. I have only fond memories of each and everyone of you! I reconnected with Liz when she began playing with TrueNorth. I always enjoyed our conversations. The Lord bless you and keep you my dear, dear brothers and sisters.

Carol Liston Jun 3 2022 1:47 PM

Liz was a great friend, fellow violinist and a client of mine for many years! I will always remember her as the sweetest, kindest and most generous person I know. I have some great memories of her. She used to bring me fruit from her trees! My thoughts and prayers are with family. ❤️🦋✝️

Debbie Bird Jun 3 2022 12:07 PM

To Liz’s family and friends, I want to express my sorrow. I met Liz at True North where she was the kindest and most talented player I’d met. She was so sweet to us, and I loved listening to her play. She was a beautiful person and I’m so very sorry.

Amy Jankovsky Jun 3 2022 11:48 AM

Our deepest condolences to Harry and the entire Rothenbusch family upon learning of LIz’s passing. She was a bright light on fire for God and ministered to many with her music. She blessed us all and although we shall miss her dearly, we know that she is in the presence of her Lord. We, her family in Ontario, share in your deep sorrow.

Monica and Vito

Monica Klein Jun 2 2022 11:51 PM

Joan Fortney lit a candle for Elizabeth I. Rothenbusch

Joan Fortney Jun 2 2022 11:29 PM

My deepest condolences to the Rothenbusch family upon reading of Liz's passing. I often asked Esther Rothenbusch Cruikshank for updates on Liz over the years. I admired her greatly as a fellow musician during our BW years, and rejoice that she is now at peace.💜🌹

Timothy Holley Jun 1 2022 2:19 AM