metro >> that's life
Keeping active and volunteering keeps
90-year-old young at heart.
Special to the Jewish News
velyn Lipitz's bubbly personality
is as vibrant as her beautifully
coiffed red hair.
Lipitz, 90, enjoys her active lifestyle at
her home in the Meer Apartments in West
She has a difficult time understanding
residents who walk around complain-
ing that they have nothing to do. "There
are always things to do if you want to do
them:' says Lipitz. "I keep busy every day."
Lipitz was born the day of her brother's
bar mitzvah on Oct. 20, 1921, in Bronx,
N.Y. She has fond memories of grow-
ing up in the Bronx, being raised by her
European parents and meeting her future
husband, Jack, whom she met at 16.
"He was a real doll, but we were just
friends at first," remembers Lipitz, who later
married Jack when she was 21.
"We lived with my parents when we were
first married, and then when Jack came
home from the Army, we got an apartment
in the projects. We raised our two daughters
and met many nice friends. My husband
worked in the garment industry where
everyone was made to feel like family."
A few years later, they moved to Long
Island, where they bought their first house.
As her girls grew, Lipitz got a full-time job
working for an insurance company."' abso-
lutely loved working. I was always the first
one in the office in the morning and the last
one out at the end of the day' she says.
In the mid-'70s, Lipitz's husband asked
her if she would like to move to Florida.
"I thought he was a joking," says Lipitz,
who sold their house two weeks later and
moved to Plantation, Fla., where they lived
for 32 years.
"Jack and I had been married for 46 won-
derful years when he passed away in 1989.1
had to learn to become independent, and so
I continued working as an insurance under-
writer until I was 83 years old. After I retired,
I stayed home for one month and thought to
myself, `OK, that's it!' The next day, I began
volunteering at the local hospital."
A couple years after her retirement in
2006, Lipitz's daughters felt that their mother
might be happier relocating to where there
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24 July 26 • 2012
would be more social activities. They sug-
gested that she either move to New York
where daughter Carol lived or Michigan
where daughter Helene lived. Lipitz made the
decision to move to Michigan, and she has
never looked back.
"Moving to Michigan has been my best
adventure yet;' said Lipitz, who keeps a busy
schedule daily. "On Mondays, I volunteer at
Jewish Family Service. Tuesdays, I play mah
jong at Meer. Wednesday is my volunteer day
at Henry Ford Hospital [in West Bloomfield].
On Thursdays, I volunteer at Pleasant Lake
Elementary [in West Bloomfield] where my
three great-grandchildren attend school.
Then on Fridays, I volunteer at Meer sitting
at the reception desk."
In addition to her volunteer activities,
Lipitz is the first vice president on the
executive board of government affairs at
Meer, which meets twice a month.
She recently became involved in a vol-
unteer program with Hillel Day School
in Farmington Hills where her two great-
Even on Sundays Lipitz doesn't take a
break ... She is happily participating in
her exercise and chair-yoga class at Meer.
"My mom always sees the glass half-
said Lipitz's daughter, Helene. "She
is loved by all her family [including three
grandchildren and five great-grandchil-
dren] and friends. She just enjoys life.
"Whenever my mom goes out to a
restaurant, she will always say, 'I can eat
whatever I want because I am on vacation:
And she makes this claim even when she
is not on vacation!" _11