Gladys L. Feingold Follender died on Oct. 23. She was five months short of her 98th birthday, the exact age of her husband, Dr. Murray Follender, when he died in 2008. They were married for 69 years.
Follender was the last of six children, the only one born in America. She lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., all her life until moving to Maryland to be near family in 1988. She studied nursing at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, receiving her RN degree in 1934, and was a nurse until starting her family. Shortly before moving to Maryland, Follender returned to the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital for re-credentialing, and resumed her nursing career at hospitals in Brooklyn and at the Manhattan Beach Community College.
In Brooklyn, Gladys and Murray were active members of the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, and after moving to Rockville became active members of B’nai Israel Congregation. They devoted countless hours volunteering at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Award for assisting at the theater box office, at holiday events, working with immigrants, helping at the annual book fair, and participating in numerous other programs. In Rockville, she once again practiced nursing at the Smith-Kogod Hebrew Home, where in October she entered as a patient in the JSSA hospice program.
Gladys will be remembered for her kind and helpful nature, her interest in those around her whether at home at Miramont Villas, the JCC, B’nai Israel, or in the Ring House and Landow House where she was a regular visitor, bringing cheer to those residents, and a treasured participant in the senior programs. She maintained her independence and intellect even as a hospice patient, reminding the nurses of how she practiced in the 1930s. She was devoted to her family, and appreciated how fortunate she was in having three generations of her family living close by.
She is survived by her children, Alice (late Carl) Harris, and Harvey and Rochelle Follender (she considered Rochelle her second daughter); grandchildren Ivan and Saroya (Lowell Nelson) Follender, Naomi (Bard Malovany) Harris, and Margo (Brad) Cohen, and beloved great-grandchildren Caleb and Mira Malovany, and Maya Cohen.
Funeral services were held on Oct. 26 at B’nai Israel Congregation, with burial at B’nai Israel Congregation cemetery in Oxon Hill. Memorial contributions may be made to B’nai Israel Congregation, Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, American Friends of Magen David Adam or the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.