Obituary: Adel Rootstein

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The Independent Online
I FEEL I must add something on a more personal note to your obituary of Adel Rootstein (by Beverley D'Silva, 23 September), writes Richard Chopping.

Adel was one of the most generous, kind, understanding of human beings. I met her through Zandra Rhodes when I was a tutor at the Royal College of Art. I needed help with a relatively flippant problem. She gave unlimited time and sympathy to its solution. Taking on later the more urgent problems of students who were involved, giving them her opinion, her counselling and commissions for their work, unstintingly.

One could never catch up with her open-handed generosity. If one telephoned to ask her to come to the theatre it was always: 'No darling, I can't manage next week but are you free tonight?' Then it was - the best stalls, half a bottle of champagne (Adel never drank any) and a plate of sandwiches in the interval, a hired car to take one to a fashionable restaurant and then home. All paid for as if by magic. To shop with her was a dangerous experience. If one forgot, and admired anything, one found at the cash desk that she had bought it for you. Most taxi drivers in London seemed to know her. I often used to ask. But if Shawfield Street was one's destination, one was immediately told what 'a great lady she was'. For instance, if she had a taxi to the Royal College of Art, let us say to visit the Bugatti Exhibition, she would buy the driver an expensive illustrated catalogue and have him wait for the return journey. Her tips were legendary.

Her sympathy over personal emotional problems was of an order difficult to describe. She never made one feel that one was wasting her time. Many people will feel the cold wind of loneliness blowing at the loss of this dear woman. We all loved her.