Florence Haspel Zeve
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Florence Haspel Zeve

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Florence Haspel Zeve

ZEVE: Florence Haspel Zeve died peacefully in her Oakland apartment May 2, 2019. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. August 18, 1930, the youngest child of Martin and Anne Haspel, from Romania. Her family moved from Brooklyn to Danbury, Connecticut, in 1931. Florence attended public schools in Danbury, graduating in 1948. She was the editor of the school newspaper, co-editor of the 1948 yearbook, a cheerleader and voted “most beautiful lips.” Graduated from the all women’s Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., with a B.A. in English in 1952. She met her husband-to-be in her junior year, at synagogue during Rosh Hashanah services. Florence was a copy editor for Pellegrino & Cudahy Book Publisher in Manhattan and was proud of being an independent woman in NYC, having her own apartment. She married Harvey Zeve at the Hotel Ambassador in NYC, May 2, 1954. After their honeymoon, they moved to Youngstown, Ohio. Birthed David, 10 months later. Her second son, Lincoln, was born 17 months later. They moved to Pittsburgh in 1959 and birthed Bradley in October. In 1978, Florence obtained her master’s degree in public administration from GSPIA, University of Pittsburgh. She lived in Oakland for 52 years and in the 1970s was president of the Shadyside Action Coalition and an active member of SNAP. She served as executive director of Western PA Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, and executive director Western PA Chapter of the Hemophilia Foundation. She was a longtime board member of Pittsburgh City Theater and Sage Colleges. Florence had a zest for life and was active socially — a member of the Pittsburgh Golf Club, Duquesne Club, Concordia Club, Rodef Shalom, American Jewish Committee. She was diagnosed with MS in 1956 and refused to allow her life to be defined by it. Her hobbies included tennis, golf, skiing, attending theater and the symphony, reading daily papers (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the late Pittsburgh Press, and The New York Times), thinking about the next meal and what the family would have for dinner — she always made sure the table was set for breakfast before going to bed. She was a devoted Steelers fan, a season ticket holder since 1966. Florence was loved and appreciated for her wit and tenacity. She was a relentless advocate for education, women’s rights, government responsibility, plus proper grammar, etiquette and manners. She was a major supporter of the Sage Colleges, an early supporter of the Pittsburgh Promise and established the Zeve Family Foundation Scholarship at the Promise. Other organizations of significant interest included the Pittsburgh City Theater, Pittsburgh Symphony, WQED, Phipps Conservatory, Jewish Federation, Carnegie and Frick Museums. She was married 59 years until Harvey’s death in 2013, and passed away on what would have been the day of her 65th wedding anniversary. She is survived by her three sons, David, Lincoln (Deneice) and Bradley, seven grandchildren, two nephews (one passed) and two nieces. Services at Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Avenue (at Morewood) on Monday at 10 AM. Visitation at Temple one hour prior to services, (9 – 10 AM). Interment Homewood Cemetery. Donations in her honor can be sent to the Pittsburgh Promise and/or Pittsburgh City Theater. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com
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