Sofia Maria Ruiz Konikoff, 57, instrumental in the founding of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater-Konikoff Center of Learning

Sofia Maria Ruiz Konikoff
Sofia Maria Ruiz Konikoff

Sofia Maria Ruiz Konikoff, 57, mother of seven, grandmother of four and the wife of Dr. David B. Konikoff, passed away Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, during a trip to Jerusalem.

Sofia was born Jan. 4, 1962, in Miami, Florida, shortly after her family arrived in the United States from Cuba. She was the youngest of six children.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Abelardo and Marta Ruiz.

She is survived by the loves of her life: David, whom she loved with all her heart and soul; daughters, Elisa Carter (Mike), of Moyock, North Carolina, and Rachael Rosenberg (David) of San Francisco, California; and sons, Ryan Konikoff, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Joshua Konikoff, Jared Konikoff, Jacob Konikoff and Jonathan Konikoff of Virginia Beach.

She also is survived by her grandchildren, Keira, Skylar and Colton Carter of Moyock and Makiah Rosenberg of San Francisco, California.
Her family was the most important thing to Sofia, and she referred to a recent trip to Italy, when all 15 family members vacationed together, as “the trip of a lifetime.”

Sofia also is survived by her loving siblings, Maria Butterworth (Carey) of Chesapeake, Dr. Abelardo Ruiz (Angela) of Virginia Beach, Grace Little (Mike) of Chesapeake, Marta Stewart (Jamie) of Virginia Beach, Dr. Antonio Ruiz (Anne) of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Dr. Albert Konikoff (Wendy) of Virginia Beach, Dr. Steven Konikoff (Ronnie Jane) of Virginia Beach and Sharon Berger (Rich) of Cleveland, Ohio; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and cousins.

She was a 1980 graduate of Portsmouth Catholic High School and earned her degree in dental hygiene from Old Dominion University in 1984.

She stayed incredibly busy. While family was her priority, she also enjoyed coaching her children’s basketball and soccer teams, traveling, playing tennis and belonged to the U.S. Tennis Association. She was a member of the Congregation Beth El and involved in volunteer work with the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center of Virginia Beach, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and the Women’s Cabinet of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Sofia was instrumental in the founding of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater-Konikoff Center of Learning. She traveled worldwide supporting missions of the JDC and was a life member of the Lion of Juda. Sofia’s involvement in these meaningful causes always gave her a sense of pride and purpose.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Congregation Beth El, 422 Shirley Ave., Norfolk. Burial will be private and for family only.

Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.

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