Nader, 99, dies in Winsted
STRAUSS , Register Citizen Staff
WINSTED - Winsted resident
and civic advocate Rose Bouziane Nader
passed awayat her home Friday, Jan. 20, just 18 days shy of her 100th
Rose, who died of congestive heart failure, was the mother of former
U.S. presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
She leaves behind two daughters, Dr. Claire
Nader and Laura Nader, as well as a son, Ralph, who is renowned for
civic activism and his multiple presidential bids.
son, Shafeek, was the principal founder of Northwestern Connecticut
Community Co-llege and died in 1986, the family said.
Zahle, Lebanon, on Feb. 7, 1906, she married Nathra Nader in 1925 and
immigrated to the U.S. shortly after, settling in Danbury and then
Winsted. She had been a member of Peace Action, Co-Op America, and
president of the Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest.
was known for pushing for the expansion and preservation of the Winsted
Mem-orial Hospital and for vehemently urging then-Sen. Prescott Bush to
build a dry dam following the Flood of 1955, the family said.
She contributed to articles published in The New York Times, as well as
the U.S. Postal Service Magazine.
Prize-winning journalist and author David Halberstam remembers Rose
from time he spent in Winsted growing up and going to school with Ralph
Nader. Halberstam’s mother, who taught in the Torrington school system,
became friends with Rose.
"In the mid ’60s, back when Life
Magazine was really powerful, they put Ralph on the cover for his auto
safety stuff and my mother was very excited by it and she called Mrs.
Nader. Mrs. Nader was a very, very modest lady, a wonderful lady. My
mother called up very excited, and Rose Nader said, ‘Well, yes, I must
go out and get a copy.’ My mother would have been buying out the
newsstand," Halberstam said.
Journalist and former talk show
host Phil Donahue also has fond memories of Rose. Donahue first met
Ralph Nader in the mid 1960s when the young activist was a guest on
Donahue’s call-in radio show in Dayton, Ohio, after Nader had published
a book attacking General Motors, "Unsafe at Any Speed." Donahue, who
said he was immediately taken by Ralph Nader’s commitment and tenacity,
became a family friend and was a guest at Rose’s home in later years.
appeared on The Phil Donahue Show more than any other guest and Rose
appeared on the program, as well, to promote her book, "It Happened in
the Kitchen." The book was a collection of food recipes, as well as
philosophies on child rearing.
"She appeared to me to be forever
upbeat," Donahue said. "She acted as though every day was a gift given
to her and she opened it with glee and gratitude. She was as fine an
expression of the human spirit as I have ever met, and I say this from
my heart. This woman was so totally positive and happy and welcoming
--she was the 20th century. She was, I think, a magnificent example of
wife, mother, citizen."
Author, publisher and family friend Richard Grossman said that Rose had
a combination of humor and wisdom.
was a remarkable woman and conjures up all the cliches about the great
American dream as a immigrant person who came here in 1925 and spent
her lifetime giving back to the country that accepted her," he said.
day, when I was about nine years old, she asked me if I loved my
country," Ralph Nader said. "I replied that I did, whereupon she said,
‘Well, I hope when you grow up, you’ll work hard to make your country
"She was not a person of many words, but her
content contained much memorable wisdom," her daughter, Claire, said.
"On child rearing formulas, Mom observed that ‘there is no recipe.’ On
supporting each other, it was ‘operation cooperation.’"
Public Citizens’ Health Research Group director Dr. Sidney Wolf met
Rose through his work with Ralph Nader.
got to know her over the years and realized what a powerful person she
was and how predictably she had four children, all of whom were
well-taught by her and carried forward her ideals," he said.
addition to her children, Rose leaves behind a sister, Angele Bouziane
Mokhiber; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her
husband died in 1991. Memorial contributions may be made to The Shafeek
Nader Trust for the Community Interest, P.O. Box 500, Winsted, Conn.,
Karsten Strauss can be reached by e-mail at