Barbara S. Rothschild, 66, of Mount Laurel, a longtime Camden Courier-Post reporter, died Thursday, July 12, of metastatic breast cancer at her home.
Mrs. Rothschild spent 32 years at the Courier-Post as an award-winning reporter and op-ed editor.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she moved to Cherry Hill as a preteen. She graduated seventh in her class from Cherry Hill High School West and later received a bachelor of arts degree in education from Glassboro State University. She also earned a master's degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975.
After joining the Courier-Post as a part-time receptionist, Mrs. Rothschild worked her way up to the role of reporter, covering education, health, and religion. She was the op-ed editor from 1993 to 2000, overseeing layout, design, hiring, budgeting, and production.
In 2000, she returned to being a reporter and covered education while also working as a general assignment reporter. Along with eight of her colleagues, Mrs. Rothschild won a New Jersey Press Association award in 2002 for coverage of the murder trial of Rabbi Fred S. Neulander, who had his wife killed. After retiring from the newspaper in 2012, she freelanced for numerous publications, including the Jewish Community Voice and the Burlington County Times.
Her husband, Kevin Gonzalez, recalled their first date in June 1989. They were working at the Courier-Post when he asked her out to dinner and a movie. They ate at Charlie Brown's in Woodbury and went to see Ghostbusters II in Deptford. At the time, Mrs. Rothschild insisted it was not a date but just "two colleagues out together," Gonzalez said.
"Somehow we managed to survive that first date," he said. "It was the beginning of a whirlwind romance." One week shy of a year later, the couple married.
Gonzalez described his wife as a consummate professional, smart and cultured. She dearly loved her daughter, Jill, he said, and her favorite role was mother.
"She just lived for that daughter," he said.
Mrs. Rothschild and her husband both battled cancer and stood by each other, he said. When Gonzalez was undergoing chemotherapy for nasal cancer in 2012, Mrs. Rothschild took care to ensure that he could still go to work. She drove him from their Mount Laurel home to his job in Ewing N.J., a daily three-hour round trip.
In times like that, "she would say, 'Now is the time we can lean on each other,'" he said. "And ultimately, that's what we did — we had each other's backs."
In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Rothschild is survived by a brother.