Meet a Member: The Unexpected Friendship of Lenore and Julia

By Cheryl Proska
November 10th, 2017 For Members No Comments

Friendships can blossom at any moment – while walking down the street, relaxing in the park, or in the case of Friends Life Care members Julia Haas and Lenore Greenberg, sitting in a hospital.

Friends Life Care members and best friends Lenore and Julia

How They Met…

Julia and Lenore met in the waiting room of Jeanes Hospital where both of their mother’s were patients. Once they started talking and realized how much they enjoyed each other’s company, a friendship was instantly formed. Shortly thereafter, in an attempt to cut down on individual living expenses, the newly established best friends moved in together.

Their Early Years…

Both women grew up in Philadelphia, and led very fulfilling lives prior to meeting.

Friends Life Care Member Julia Haas showing off art

Julia retired from the Maintenance Department of Temple University, but her avocation was art. She is a self-taught woodworker and painter with a very creative mind and loves creating all manner of art work.

In the 1990’s she carved a variety of Santa Claus pieces for a specialty store in Swarthmore, which were in such high demand that she sometimes had difficulty keeping up with orders.

Friends Life Care member Lenore Greenberg in her army uniform

Lenore flunked out of high school in the 11th grade and began working a series of jobs such as theater usher, factory worker, door-to-door magazine sales and waitressing.

While working at a seafood restaurant on Broad Street in the early 1950’s, she waited on some female Army recruiters. Speaking with them inspired her to earn her GED and join the Army. She said that her military service absolutely turned her life and her view of herself completely around.

In 1952, she found herself in Ft. Lee, VA for basic training and was then tapped to attend leader school for another 8 weeks. She was then sent to Ft. Sill, OK and Ft. Biloxi, Mississippi for air traffic controller school.

This high school flunkee was proud to say that she graduated with a B average and a whole new picture of what she could do. She enjoyed the challenge of working as an air traffic controller until she finished her service in 1954 and is very proud of the work that she did.

Friends Life Care member Lenore back in her army days

She earned a Good Conduct medal and a Korean War medal for her service.

Before she completed her military service, Lenore said “yes” to one of the eight marriage proposals that she received while in the service. However, her marriage ended after nine years when her husband was transferred overseas and Lenore didn’t want to lose the opportunity to take advantage of the VA college program for veterans and stayed in the Philadelphia area.

She attended Temple and Penn State before graduating from West Chester with a degree in education. She went on to earn a master’s degree at Villanova and is just 15 credits shy of having earned her doctorate. Quite an accomplishment for a woman who flunked out of high school.

Lenore taught for 30 years in three different school systems. She taught the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 9th grades during that time so she had plenty of variety in her teaching career.

Today, Lenore and Julia spend quiet days at home sharing each other’s company and welcoming their visiting friends and family.

Watch the video below to learn more about this dynamic duo!


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