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VOLUME TWENTY SIX, NUMBER 8

NOVEMBER 2012

Pond restoration in sight at last By Ann Louise Strong Every morning when I drive out of Beaumont and see the giant machines excavating and enlarging the B drainage basin at Harriton High School, I feel a thrill of excitement. What follows here is the story of the six-year struggle that is making the restoration of Beaumont’s pond possible. Early in 2007 our then nascent Green Committee, with Alvan Markle and me as co-chairs and Mary Graff as secretary, set out to determine how our pond was faring. We observed that it was suffering from a rapidly accumulating burden of sediment-laden runoff. Few fish remained. Water birds no longer came to feed.

Photo by Mark Strong

continued on page 6 Men and machines correct construction errors that sent sediment-laden runoff into our pond.

Even coffee social with Louise is a trip By Mary Schnabel

“She really turned it around! What will she think of next?” True words of praise for an individual who took a routine job and made it into a roaring success. It’s not hard to identify the person behind the praise . . . she’s our Louise Hughes! We Beaumont residents didn’t even know what we were missing until Louise came along. We contentedly visited museums, attended concerts, made our way to antique shows and public gardens: things we had been doing on a regular basis before we came to Beaumont and ones we thoroughly enjoyed, and still do. They are grown-up events and venues and we are grown-up men and women. Then here came Louise and turned us into kids again. We went, in addition to these accustomed habitats of culture, back to nature and the outdoors. We dressed up and played games, and made things with our own hands. Louise has been employed here at Beaumont for 24 years, 8 of them Photo by Caitlin McDevitt recently working in the Marketing Department. When the position of Trip Coordinator opened up last fall, Louise knew she had found her niche. Once Louise Hughes presides at a Halloween there, without stopping for breath, she and her partner in planning, Dr. Dean social. She also masterminded a Scavenger Hunt. Story and photos, Page 7.

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony last month marked the arrival of a new hostess stand for the Mansion dining rooms. From right to left: Rose-Marie Pringle, Director of Dining Services; Marian LockettEgan, head of the House Committee; Sam (Samantha) Mohan, Assistant Director of Dining Services, and Dr. Don Trachtenberg, chairman of the Beaumont Retirement Community Inc. (BRCI) board. The almost 7½foot-long wooden stand was built by Martin’s Chair of New Holland, Lancaster County, where new chairs for the Grill Room have been under construction and are expected sometime this month. —Mary Graff Photo by Caitlin McDevitt Family members who helped Health Center resident Stuart Saunders celebrate Hall-ofFame athletic honors from Episcopal High School in Alexandria were (from left) son Charlie, daughter-in-law Whitney (wife of Charlie), wife Susie, and son Stuart. More than 50 guests from all over the country heard the 1960 graduate honored as “a legend . . . a threesport captain” who had “made a lasting impression” as a football lineman, wrestler, and track and field thrower . . . “known for his leadership, sportsmanship and character—both on the field and off.” CORRECTION In the October issue, in the story listing members of boards and committees, we omitted the name of Devie Andrews, co-chairman with Sis Ziesing of the Bridge Committee. After the News went to press, Tuppie Solmssen resigned as chairman of the Health Care Committee. Gerri Paier, a member of the Beaumont Retirement Community Inc. (BRCI) board, who has a doctorate in geriatric nursing, will fill out her term.

BEAUMONT NEWS The Beaumont News is published by the residents and staff of the Beaumont Retirement Community, 601 N. Ithan Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Managing Editor Production Editor Editor Emeritus and Historian Photo Editor Events Manager Proofreader Circulation Manager

When Beaumont christened its new bocce court and putting green in September, President Joe Fortenbaugh left his office, tie and all, to try his hand at bocce. (Instructions are in box between bocce court and putting green. Code 601 unlocks the box.) Watching Joe (from left) are Peggy Cancelmo, Frank Boyer, Dr. Elizabeth Wood (sitting), Dr. Richard Cancelmo, Joan Thayer and Eileen Ware. Photo by Kim Norrett

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Mary Graff Christine Johnson-Hall Louise Guthrie Louise Hughes Kim Norrett Jennie Frankel Barbara O’Brien


She knits for fun, while Health Center profits By Margie Manlove

Other items are not visible: a large collection of Every time I walk past the Gift Shop, I stop to look at the baby and toddler sweaters in the window. Almost knitting books and instructions are on a shelf in a every week there is a new one, and always they are cabinet, and the many small tools used by advanced beautiful, always unique. Where they come from is not knitters are in drawers. Everything is conveniently and tidily arranged. a secret: Sally DaCosta made every one. As we sat and talked together, Sally explained to me Ed and Sally DaCosta were among Beaumont’s enthusiastic earliest residents. They have contributed how she planned to complete the dark green sweater. much to the life of Beaumont. In the early days they Sleeves and a hood are to be added with a white stripe knew everyone, and frequently entertained in their villa around the hood and on the sleeves. It is to be with pre-dinner cocktail parties and Sunday-night fastened with white buttons. Sally showed me some white buttons she had considered, and was rejecting, supper parties. Ed was a fine photographer who took pictures on because they were not white enough. Not every sweater has buttons, but as Sally the many trips the DaCostas took to Europe, Alaska and the East and West coasts. After each trip they took explained, buttons can be very important to the look of the sweater. She has thouEd wrote, Sally edited and sands of buttons. Her they both read from a script daughter and daughter-into a beautiful slide show. I law are often asked to buy remember those shows special buttons. Some of with pleasure, particularly her sweaters are even as they were enjoyed not planned around particular only by Beaumont resibuttons, while some dents but also by residents sweaters follow patterns, of other retirement commusuch as the one with the nities in the area. Ed also numbers, and others comserved on, and was chairbine ideas from several man of, the Beaumont sources. Retirement Community Inc. Sally never repeats a (BRCI) board. sweater (except when a When Ed was in failing duplicate is requested). Her health the DaCostas inspiration and inventivemoved into an apartment. Sally, who had always been Photo by Louise Hughes ness are endless. At her daughter’s sugbusy with needlepoint or Smiling while she works: Gift Shop knitter Sally (Sarah) DaCosta gestion, Sally has phoknitting, began making shows how it’s done. tographed each sweater small sweaters while caring for Ed in his final two years in the Health Center. For and has those pictures in albums. There are several the past six years her sweaters have been sold hundred pictures of sweaters in those albums, exclusively at our Gift Shop, which turns all its profits representing many thousands of hours of work—all of which have benefited Beaumont’s Health Center and over to the Health Center. I had the pleasure of visiting Sally in her workroom. the lucky children who wear sweaters bearing the At first glance it looks like just a well appointed den. “Made by Sally DaCosta” label. But soon I began to notice signs of the work that is Since my visit Sally has moved to the Health Center, done there. Next to her comfortable chair was a work- where she plans to continue knitting—though not basket containing a half-finished dark green sweater; necessarily sweaters. next to it I saw the beginning of another sweater with half-knit numbers. In this, Sally’s workroom, there are many knitting IN MEMORIAM needles of various sizes neatly held in vases. There is Michael Strong - October 14, 2012 also an open-ended cabinet with 28 sections the size George Harding - October 19, 2012 of mailboxes containing knitting yarn of various colors. Some of the yarn is purchased by mail order and some Members of the Beaumont Community extend is brought by Sally’s daughter Carolyn. An inconspicuous deepest sympathy to their families and friends. flat space at the right height, covered with terry cloth, is where the completed sweaters are blocked. 3


New face in the Front Office Meet Kristin Amato, latest addition to the Accounting team in the Administrative Offices of Beaumont. Kristin originally hails from Warminster, Pennsylvania. She has a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University and currently is studying for the CPA examination. Kristin worked as a senior accountant for six years before being hired by Beaumont in April. Among her responsibilities now are payroll processing, general

ledger accounting and financial statement analysis. Besides accounting, Kristin enjoys outdoor activities including mountain biking, roller hockey and softball. She particularly enjoys reading books by Stephen King and cracking open crabs at the beach in Sea Isle City. Kristin was married in September to Mike Szoke (pronounced zoke), also an accountant, which is how they met. —Susan Kendra

Kristin Amato

Lloyds move to 22 Pond Lane

What do you call a whole lot of turtles?

By Jean Homeier Florry Lloyd was born in Boston but came to Philadelphia in 1948. She went to the Baldwin School and then to Vassar College. She and John Lloyd were married in 1961 and moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where she taught in elementary school. When they returned to Philadelphia, they loved living in Society Hill in its early adventurous days. Florry received a master’s in Education and Child Development at Bryn Mawr College and has been a substitute teacher at Baldwin and at St. Peter’s School. She loves music and was in the cast and on the board of the Philadelphia Revels Christmas Show. She has also been involved in interfaith dialogue groups and efforts to bring peace, justice and hope to the Middle East. John Lloyd, a lifelong John and Florry Lloyd Philadelphian, grew up in Rosemont and graduated from Episcopal Academy and Wesleyan University. After graduation there was a stint in the Navy as Officer in Charge of a “Beach Party Team.” (No, dear reader, it’s NOT what you think. He handled the logistics for possible beach landings of troops.) He earned an MBA at Drexel while working for Provident National Bank. John was a founding partner of Lloyd, Leith & Sawin, which merged with Tower Bridge Advisors, of which he is now a principal. He has served on the board of St. Peter’s School and is past chairman of both Overbrook School for the Blind and Woodland Cemetery. He is an accomplished wood worker and enjoys sailing a Cape Dory 25 on Chesapeake Bay. Florry and John have four children (Jack, Molly, Becky and Tom) and rejoice in their nine grandchildren. They moved into Villa 22, on Pond Lane, in September.

Released from the Beaumont Room cabinet: a sampling of Anne Gruenberg’s turtle collection. All photos on this page by Louise Hughes

By Margie Manlove We all know about flocks of birds and schools of fish, but what do we call a large gathering of turtles? Looking at the collection of turtles in the Beaumont Room cabinet across from the fireplace, I call that gathering of turtles Extraordinary. Anne Gruenberg didn’t exactly plan to collect turtles. Her collection was started when her family was vacationing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and a turtle was in the middle of the road. She told her children that if it was still there when they came back, she was going to pick it up. If it had not been there, there would be no extraordinary collection of turtles. That turtle became a family pet. Friends and relatives, knowing of this, gave Anne small inanimate turtles. Anne must have a great many friends and relatives, as she has hundreds of turtles and purchased just one herself. Those on display are just a small part of her collection. Her grandchildren used to run around her house trying to count the turtles, but never could complete the count. Anne’s turtles are made from a wide variety of materials: clay, glass, metal, wood, cloth and more. My favorite turtle is made out of steel nuts and washers. (He is on the left side front of the middle shelf.) Many are useful objects; a trivet and a grater are tipped up against the back. There are a napkin ring, a flower pot, two candles, an ashtray, a paperweight and a change purse. Don’t overlook the tiny blown-glass turtle. If you pass Anne in the hall, you will know her when she is wearing her T-shirt with 12 beautiful turtles printed on it. Thank you, Anne, for sharing your extraordinary turtles. 4


From Italy, aerospace engineer who loves flowers, painting By Ann Robb Smith

Giusto Pizzini is a modest, friendly man. When I logical satellite NIMBUS launched by NASA in 1962. went to interview him for the Beaumont News he really Giusto also worked on the development of the military didn’t want to talk about himself. He wanted to talk communications satellite ADVENT. In 1967 he moved about his family. He began by telling me that his to Boeing, where he became the manager of beloved wife of 40 years had died 10 years ago, and he engineers designing control systems for the Chinook pointed to two beautiful photographs of her in her helicopter. I must admit that I was completely confused by what wedding gown, hanging on a wall in the living room. Between the two photographs, Giusto had hung an oil he was designing and asked him to explain what he portrait of her, by a very young unknown artist, that was talking about. “Control of turbulence, altitude, air speed and revealed a lovely young woman with dark hair and a direction,” he replied. Then, noting bright smile. the blank look on my face, he The Pizzinis had two children, kindly gave me a copy (in English) a girl and a boy. Their daughter, of an article from a local Italian Wilhelmina, majored in accounting newspaper about his work. This at the University of Virginia and helped me decipher what he had went on to earn a master’s from been doing. Dartmouth and a doctorate from Quoting from the article, he had the Wharton School at the “directed the technical team that University of Pennsylvania. She designed the mathematical model now is a professor of managerial of the guidance and control sysand corporate accounting at the tem of the aircraft for automatic University of Texas in Dallas. stabilization in turbulent air, the Giusto seemed to take his automatic control of altitude, airdaughter’s academic achievespeed and heading of the airments for granted and was more plane. . . . When coupled to the impressed with her skills as a Globestar satellite the system cyclist! He proudly showed me a provides automatic navigation framed copy of an article about from the airport departure to the her in the Philadelphia Inquirer. It airport of arrival.” Just as he said: had a great photograph of “turbulence, altitude, airspeed and Wilhelmina on her bicycle in front direction”! of the Art Museum, winning the Giusto modestly did not tell me National Collegiate Cycling Race. Photo by Louise Hughes that he has been formally recognized in the community of The Pizzinis’ son, Mark, grad- Giusto Pizzini aerospace engineers for his uated from Penn State with a degree in electrical engineering and received a mas- contributions. I had to read in the newspaper that he is ter’s from the University of Texas. He is now the a member of the American Institute of Electrical and Director of Information Systems at Pfizer. Mark and his Electronic Engineers. Giusto has two passions: gardening and painting. family live in New Jersey, close enough for Giusto to savor the joys of being a grandparent with Mark’s two His big, beautiful garden at his former home in Newtown Square gave him great pleasure. His apartchildren—a girl, 8, and a boy, 4. Giusto was born in Trento, in Northern Italy. His ment here at Beaumont is on the first floor and he father, originally from the nearby town of Roncone, had looks forward to planting flowers and azalea bushes become an American citizen while working in the U.S. around the patio. He was invited to join the Green as a chief mechanic in a large company. This made it Committee almost upon his arrival, in June. Owner of an eclectic art collection, from antique possible for Giusto, the youngest of six children, to come to the U.S. after he graduated from high school candlesticks and china to romantic paintings of the Virgin Mother and Child, Giusto is an artist himself and in Italy. He graduated from Penn State with a degree in paints vivid colored portraits of beautiful women, electrical engineering and went on to get a master’s in geometrically designed. He spends his spare time now, he says, “between the same field from the Drexel Institute of Technology. His first job was at G.E., where he joined the Missile reading, gardening and trying to make head or tail out and Space Division, which designed the first meteoro- of the stock market!” 5


Pond

Ithan Avenue that discharges to Beaumont, and creating a system of runoff management that will benefit them as well as us. Early on, the school district offered Beaumont $45,000. As of August 2011, the total approved for payment by the defendants came to more than one million dollars. The work at Harriton, following Gary Brown’s specifications, is estimated to be costing around $700,000, and Beaumont will receive $386,000 toward pond restoration and payment of our lawyer’s and our engineers’ fees. What a pity that the school district did not respond to our requests five years ago. Much damage would have been avoided as well as many of the costs incurred by all parties. Once the work is completed and is being properly maintained, we will restore the Beaumont pond to health. We will stock it with fish, welcome the herons and other birds that come for the fish, and even build a dock with benches for Beaumonters to sit and enjoy the splendor of their environment.

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Most of the runoff flowed down to Beaumont from the grounds of Harriton. Our discovery was no news to Mark Hritz, our Grounds Director, who already knew much more about our pond’s problems than we. The next step was to document the amount and sources of the runoff and seek relief. President Joe Fortenbaugh entrusted the basic work to Mark and me, with us to report to him and the Beaumont Retirement Community Inc. (BRCI) board. We sought help from the Environmental Protection Agency, responsible for enforcement of the Clean Water Act. We met with state, county, and township officials, seeking their involvement and support. We invited Dr. David Velinsky from the Academy of Natural Sciences to bring staff and spend a day sampling water, plants, and fish in the pond. They concluded that we had a runoff pollution problem. Beaumont then engaged Richard Nalbandian, a geologist highly regarded for his work on stormwater management. His analysis of the Harriton soils and holding basins, and his kayak-powered sediment depth measurements in our pond, provided a strong base for our negotiations with the Lower Merion School District. Beaumont sought to reach a voluntary agreement with the school district, asking that they acknowledge that they and their contractors bore responsibility for the flow of sediment-laden runoff to us. Further, we asked that they correct the problem, both at Harriton and at Beaumont. These efforts failed. We turned to recognized specialists to strengthen our case, namely Stephen Yusem, an attorney with a strong reputation for his work in environmental litigation, and Gary Brown, a dynamic and committed resource engineer, head of the firm RT Environmental Services. Josh Hagadorn, an able and resourceful engineer with RT, also contributed much. All of them would prove critical to our eventual success. Although regretting that our non-litigious efforts had failed, the BRCI board decided in 2010 that the wisest option was to file suit in federal court. The suit against the school district and several other defendants alleged violation of the Clean Water Act and several other laws. Along the way Beaumont tried mediation. That, too, failed to lead to a settlement. Depositions by Beaumont’s attorney and by attorneys for each of the defendants and their insurance companies filled the spring of 2011. I found it challenging to face a barrage of questions from a slew of attorneys, each out to protect his client. By August of 2011, with Joe Fortenbaugh in charge, Beaumont reached an oral agreement with the defendants. It took over one year, until October 2012, for Beaumont and the defendants to approve and sign a Consent Decree under which the defendants’ contractors are at work dredging accumulated sediment from runoff basins at Harriton, enlarging the basin along

A Personal Reflection on the Pond Saga Why is our small segment of the Mill Creek basin of importance? Why is it of particular importance to me? I have spent decades of my life in battles to ensure a harmonious and enriching environment for people and the lands that they develop. I led a project to protect the water resources of the East Branch of Brandywine Creek. We proposed a landowners’ development corporation to preserve vulnerable lands while developing those areas more suited to development. I was a founder and longtime leader of the Chester County Housing Authority, building hundreds of attractive homes for low-income people. Then there was a decade on the Executive Committee of Environmental Defense with a national and world perspective on land-use issues. I see Beaumont as a microcosm of what committed people can achieve. Our small stream and pond have been a focal point of the half of our 50 acres that has been preserved much as our founder, Artie Wheeler, and his developers found it. With the leadership of Mark Hritz and the able support of Jake Bean, Kurt Mueller, and Patrick Nardizzi, our grounds are not only preserved but also improved. Once Michael and I had decided to move to Beaumont, we began looking at villas. Soon Jeanne Cortner, knowing of my long-term work on water resource protection, told us that she had just the place for us. She showed us the pond and woods from the balcony of 17 Pond Lane, and that was it. We moved in December of 2006 and have loved our home and its glorious setting ever since. Ann Louise Strong, a land-use and environmental lawyer, is chairman of the Green Committee. A graduate of Vassar College and the Yale Law School, she is Professor Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of City and Regional Planning, which she served as chairman for many years. 6


Hunt for treasure reveals cut-throat instincts For a Scavenger Hunt our Trip Coordinator made a Treasure Map for each contestant, standing on the loading dock with a lighter burning the edges of each one to give it an authentic look. The results of her planning this time surprised even Louise. “I did not realize the competitiveness in our residents,” she wrote afterward. “Everyone wanted to win and I mean win. It was a cut-throat event! “The hunt consisted of 39 items on a list, plus three items with clues which involved the use of their maps. At one point, as the teams returned with their found treasures, I had to deduct points because a pink Crayola marker did not fit the bill of a pink crayon listed on their sheets and I thought this resident was going to

Louise . . . .

attack me. (Note: this resident usually is calm and quiet and very collected, however not when the game was on the line.) “Poor Mr. Preston Reed, who kindly volunteered to help with any ties, had to decide if a leaf Photo by Louise Hughes was furry. He decided that no, it was not; needless to say I do not think he will be volunteering for this job any time soon. “In all everyone had a great time and there were prizes for all and they want to have another one soon.”

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Snyder, put their heads together and the first thing we knew, we were outside by our Pond, actually making maple syrup from our own maple trees in our own woods! We loved it, we giggled and laughed and marveled. What’s next, we begged. Then Louise and “Doc” took us fishing . . . for real fish, in a big pond where people who had never held a rod found themselves pulling in a keeper. We’ve gone bowling. There was a Scavenger Hunt so spirited the teams were actually running through the Photo by Kim Norrett building. Our “coffee socials” turned into major events with Louise’s home- Toasting hot dogs (or looking on) made goodies and handmade souare, from left: Barbara Murphy, venirs: A coffee luau on the Lattice Nancy Harris, Paul Conboy (from Maintenance), Dr. Clayton Kyle, Porch had everyone in stitches as Louise, Mary Schnabel and Jane three big burly staffers in hula skirts Lillie. At right, it was only a coffee wandered in. Louise, Doc Snyder and social, but in the hands of Louise Fitness Master Bob Stedeford Hughes, this one turned into a arranged a bonfire one night after rollicking luau. Hawaiian dancers dark where we toasted marshmallows (from left) are Mike Bailey, Jacob and hot dogs, made s’mores, and Joyce and Howard Barron, all sang songs. from Housekeeping; standing with them are residents Mary Jane Thanks to Louise for thinking Rhodes (left) and Margie Manlove. outside the box! Photo by Darryl Dick In one of Louise’s craft classes, Barbara O’Brien was joined by step-great-granddaughter Lou Ballereau, 10. Cally Wheeler made a pot in the same class . . . and painted a picture of it when she was done. “Thanks for your inspiration,” she wrote Louise afterward. “Maybe I’ll get back to painting again!” Photos by Louise Hughes

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Baldwin resident tells of odyssey from there to here By Shirley Novo Shirley Novo grew up in Southern California and got a degree in Literature from Scripps College. Ricardo (Dick) Novo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and got a degree in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires. Then Shirley went off to New York, and edited textbooks for Prentice- Shirley Novo Hall. Worked on a book by one of her old professors— who’s fixing whose footnotes now? Meanwhile, Ricardo was hired by Remington Rand to go to Venezuela to help program one of the first Univacs. Only air-conditioned building in miles. But Shirley wanted to end up living in California, so she moved to San Francisco and got a job with a trade magazine. Ricardo took a flying vacation to the U.S., touching down in Washington, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He went back to Venezuela, asked to be transferred to San Francisco, was turned down, quit, immigrated, and got an auditing job with Crown Zellerbach. (After a stint teaching Tango for Arthur Murray.) And both of them moved into the same “Residence Club.” Marriage, baby girl, a house in Sausalito. But computers were considered strategic and not a field that wanted to hire foreigners. Dick got a new job with Deloitte (current name) that took him back to Argentina as a Management Consultant, showing their auditing clients how to use computers. Eighteen years in Argentina produced two more daughters and a son. Dick organized consulting practices in Deloitte’s other South American offices and

became head of the local firm. And then a suggestion came—How about “opening up” the Middle East to management consulting? How about living in Abu Dhabi? A little fast, pre-internet research revealed that there was no American high school in Abu Dhabi. They didn’t want to send their two teenage girls to a Swiss boarding school. So, how about living in Athens and letting Dick travel? So they did. Shirley tried to learn Greek and Dick tried to learn Arabic. Three children hated it, because it wasn’t home. The other hated it because they had moved to Europe after she had gone off to college. Shirley loved it because it was Greece. They stayed for 18 months. Until an emergency call came from Spain, where they needed somebody to help out General Motors. Madrid was like going home, but in Europe. They spent 10 years there, but it got less fun as the kids went off to the States to college. Dick retired and they came back to live in Haverford, two blocks from their “stable” child, who has cooperatively stayed there, raising her three children where grandparents could go to events at Friends’ Central. Another daughter lives in Manhattan, their son in Kansas City, and the third daughter and her family have migrated from San Francisco to Venezuela to Switzerland to Abu Dhabi to Japan, teaching in American schools like the ones she went to. But they all get together for a glorious week in Cape May every summer with all the offspring and the eight grandchildren. In an enormous (rented) house, of course with WiFi. And the whole family has, one way or another, helped them move into Baldwin. Very grateful that they decided on their own to make the move.

For Agnes Irwin alumna, class of 1940, “Life goes on” By Peter Binzen At 90, Viola Bement has a philosophy of life that suits her well. “I’m a happy soul and life goes on,” she says. “I always hope for the best. What else can you do?” Mrs. Bement, born Viola Marston Jack Black, was a native Philadelphian. At her birth, the family was living on the northeast corner of 16th and Locust Viola Bement Streets. When she was five, they moved to Haverford. She attended Haverford Friends School and then Agnes Irwin, graduating in 1940. In 1942, Russell Bement Jr., whom she had known since his days at Penn Charter, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. One day after his graduation, he received a commission in the U.S. Army. And one day after that, he and Viola were engaged. They were mar-

ried on December 30, 1942, at the Church of the Redeemer, which remains an important part of her life. After his military service, Mr. Bement worked for the Insurance Company of North America. He retired at 55 and died in 1998. Their son, Russell Bement 3rd, died of cancer which he contracted after serving with the Army in Vietnam. In recent years, Viola and Victoria Peetros have been close friends. Although they are not related, Viola terms Victoria “a marvelous granddaughter.” “I’ve known her since the day she was born,” the older woman said. “I helped raise her after her mother died.” Victoria is a single mother with “two very good children,” Viola says of Alex and Emily, who visit regularly. It was Victoria who helped Viola move into an apartment in Beaumont in June. She has a cat, Skye. “Now that I am established, I’m very happy,” she said. 8


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