Up Close & Personal With
Oakwood Residence is home to many fascinating personalities living rich, vibrant lives. Our community attracts a colorful group of seniors and we make it a point to get to know their background and stories.
We are delighted to give you a glimpse into the life of Betty Milstein – singer, actress and poet extraordinaire.
A Philadelphia native, born and bred, Betty moved in this past November from the Doral Condos just a few of blocks away. Always well-coiffed and the life of every party, the mellifluous lilt in her voice hints to her singing career on the radio decades ago prior to her marriage to Bernard Milstein. She and Bernie met through her close friendship with his older sister. The two kept up a steady correspondence, with love letters flitting back and forth across the ocean, after Bernie was shipped out to the World War II theater.
When a serious injury landed Bernie back in the states in a hospital near the Atlantic City Boardwalk, Betty trekked out to visit him. Doctors were ready to amputate his leg, but penicillin – the new miracle drug of the time – saved the day and his leg.
After Bernie was honorably discharged with a Purple Heart, the couple married and had a beautiful life together. Betty stayed home to raise their two daughters and filled the house with music. Her daughter Meryl has distinct memories of her mom singing while washing dishes and tapping her feet to the beat.
“My father had a beautiful voice as well, and we all loved to sing. We were a singing family like the Von Trapp Family Singers.” Employed at Milstein (no relation) Floor Covering, Mr. Milstein worked hard to care for his wife, who he lovingly called ”my party girl”. In their middle age, the couple moved to the Doral where they were surrounded by relatives and friends.
“My sister and I have a special events production company. In the past when we staged murder mysteries at different venues, our mom played Fifi the maid and dad was the butler. They were a real hoot!” recalls Meryl.
After her husband’s passing a few years ago, Betty kept herself busy cooking and baking, and discovered a new outlet: writing poetry. Every special occasion – whether a birthday or an anniversary – was graced with her prose. In fact, her poems were featured in the Doral Newsletter and we’re pleased to share one of her Valentine poems here.