If anyone knows the secret to longevity, it is Eleanor Karp, a much beloved resident at the Leonard Florence Center for Living. Eleanor turned 106 on September 1. What a milestone event for an extraordinary woman!
Born on September 1, 1914 in Dorchester, Eleanor was the youngest of three. She loved school, dancing and socializing with her many friends. In fact, Eleanor met her husband Henry Karp through her girlfriend, who ultimately turned out to be her sister-in-law! It was love at first sight. Eleanor and Henry married on June 26, 1938.
Before starting a family, Eleanor worked at Schrafft’s, the renowned candy company in Charlestown. After her sons, Michael and Harvey, were born, Eleanor devoted her time to running the household. Celebrations played a huge role in their lives. “The Jewish holidays were legendary in our house,” said son Harvey Karp. “We had at least 30 people, with the tables extending into three rooms.” Added Harvey, “My mom is an amazing cook. Her brisket, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish and stuffed knadles were the best I have ever eaten. She even made her own horseradish!”
Eleanor and Henry lived in Everett and Malden for most of their married life. They led a highly active social life, frequently entertaining friends and family. Henry was one of eight siblings – four boys and four girls –and Eleanor was extremely close to all of them. She organized huge family outings every summer. Eleanor and Henry were married for 46 wonderful years. Sadly, Henry passed away in 1984 at 74 years of age.
In 2010, Eleanor moved from the Jack Satter House in Revere to the Cohen Florence Levine Estates Assisted Living in Chelsea. Both staff and residents adored her! She loved the bus trips and visits to area restaurants, especially Jimmy’s Steakhouse, The Continental and Kowloon. Meals in the dining room at Cohen Florence Levine Estates were the highlight of her day.
Adored by her children, son Harvey and wife Jeanne, and son Michael and wife Charlene, Eleanor cherishes her four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She presides over the family with love, warmth, and humor. “Eleanor is a truly remarkable woman,” said daughter-in-law Jeanne Karp. “She is generous, loving, sharp and fun to be around. Actually, I can’t imagine having a better mother-in-law.”
“Eleanor brings a sense of warmth to everyone she comes into contact with,” said Joseph “Coty” Miller, Recreation Program Director of the Leonard Florence Center for Living. “An amazing cook herself, she is always helping the chefs tweak their recipes to perfection.” Miller described Eleanor as full of life. “Eleanor possesses wisdom, intellect, and wit. Her stories about her life are overwhelmingly joyful and insightful. In short, Eleanor Karp is truly one of kind.”
Harvey and Jeanne Karp are thrilled Eleanor is a resident at the Leonard Florence Center for Living. “We feel extremely fortunate she is living in such a beautiful building with a private room and bath, but even more importantly, we are deeply grateful to the incredible staff at the Center,” said Jeanne Karp. “They genuinely care about her.”
When asked the secret to her longevity, Eleanor is very matter of fact. “Who would ever have expected me to live to 106?” she asked. “Yet here I am!”
We are honored to have you Eleanor. Happy 106th Birthday!