Frances Sackman loved tennis, Scrabble

Monday, April 2, 2012 | 9:09 p.m. CDT; updated 9:39 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 2, 2012

Frances Sackman did not want to watch TV — unless tennis was on.

Her nephew Frank La Mantia said Mrs. Sackman "was a tennis advocate."


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"She would tell you who the players were and how good they were," he said. "And she would name them by their names."

Frances Sackman died Thursday, March 29, 2012, in her sleep. She was 99. 

She was born Oct. 18, 1912, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Max and Jennie (Lifshitz) Matluck. Mrs. Sackman moved to Columbia about 12 years ago to live near family.

Instead of watching TV, La Mantia said she would suggest a game of Scrabble, which she would always win. 

"She would sometimes take 30 to 45 minutes between plays to get the longest word because it was more points," her niece Rose La Mantia said. 

Her niece said Mrs. Sackman's love for Scrabble stemmed from her fascination for language. 

"She had a way with words," Rose La Mantia said. "She said things differently."

Rose La Mantia said Mrs. Sackman would always speak her mind. Whether she was correcting a grammar mistake or declaring her boredom out loud at church, Mrs. Sackman was always honest.

Mrs. Sackman loved being outside and taking walks, her nephew said. Rose La Mantia said her aunt also enjoyed reading, traveling and art.

Mrs. Sackman was married twice. Her first husband, Lou Sackman, had an art gallery and her second husband, Mac Rothstein, was a painter. They both died earlier. 

Mrs. Sackman is survived by a brother, Joe, and his wife, Betty Matluck, of Austin Texas; three nieces and four nephews, Rose La Mantia and her husband, Frank La Mantia, of Columbia, Max Boneta of Columbia, Myra Boneta Lisbeth of Reston, Va., Marie Brown of Emory, Texas, Ralph Boneta of Jacksonville, Fla., John Boneta of Vienna, Va.; 11 great-nieces and nephews and 14 great-great-nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions can be made to Camp Hickory Hill, a camp for children with diabetes, P.O. Box 1942, Columbia, MO, 65205.

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