Grace Weinberg

Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2003

Juneau resident Grace Weinberg, 92, died on Aug. 5, 2003, in Juneau.

She was born June 1, 1911, in New Kensington, Pa., to Katie and Morris Venzerul. She was a first-generation American, the oldest of four brothers and sisters.

She raised two families. She helped raise her younger sisters when she was 15, and she started working a year later, during the Depression. She worked her way from stock girl to a successful milliner, designing and selling hats for the Blue Bird Dress Shop in New Kensington. After her mother died, she continued to help raise her sisters and brother, supporting her family for many years.

In 1944, she met and married Harry Weinberg, "the love of her life," the family said. They moved to Youngstown, Ohio, where they raised two children and owned and operated a small business.

She was an American Red Cross nurse aide during World War II and received the Volunteer Special Services Award for her work in the Nurse's Aide Corps in 1945.

In 1959, her family moved to Phoenix, Ariz. Her husband died in 1965, and she raised her young children on her own.

In Arizona, she was a president of her Chapter of Hadassah for many years, and in 1970, she received the City of Hope award for dedicated service. For 17 years, she worked her last paid position in the division of Aging and Adult Administration for the state of Arizona. She was presented with a Governor's Award in 1995 for her outstanding work and recognized as the oldest person working for the state.

In 1995, she retired, sold her home in Phoenix and moved to Juneau to live with her daughter, Sheryl.

In 1997, First Lady Susan Knowles presented her with the Volunteer Award for her commitment and service to Juneau.

She was an active member and presiding elder of the Juneau Jewish Community. In Alaska, she worked with the American Cancer Society and participated in the Breast Cancer Support Group. She enjoyed teaching exercise classes at the Juneau Senior Center.

Her family described her as "mother, milliner, advocate, role model, true friend and storyteller."

"She never left home without a pocketful of candy kisses, a handful of stories and a heart full of love to share. Grace touched many lives here," the family said.

Often called "Amazing Grace" by her friends, she was a loving wife, proud mother and grandmother, and loyal sister, the family said.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Harry; son Michael Terry; brother, Jimmy; and sister, Yetta.

She is survived by her daughter, Sheryl Weinberg, of Juneau; son Kenneth (Melissa) Weinberg of Texas; sister Ruth Levinson and family of Ohio; grandsons Harlan of New York and Robert of Florida; and her longtime neighbors and friends, the Barstack-Ballard family of Phoenix.

Juneau memorial services will be announced at a later date.

The family requests donations in her memory be sent to the Juneau Jewish Community Building Fund, P.O. Box 33952, Juneau AK 99803.

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