Cover photo for Elizabeth I. Rothenbusch's Obituary
Elizabeth I. Rothenbusch Profile Photo

Elizabeth I. Rothenbusch

September 30, 1961 — May 19, 2022

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 -

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

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