My precious and beautiful Mother, Phyllis Claire Rogers Friedenberg left this earthly life to join her beloved husband Bernie Friedenberg in heaven on Saturday, February 4, 2023 after a long illness. Mom was born March 21, 1927 and was delivered by her Grandmother (the first midwife in NJ from Russia - Ukraine) at my Grandmothers, Reba Rogers home on Swarthmore Avenue in Ventnor.
Phyllis went to ACHS, and then attended Moore College of Art & Design for one year in Philadelphia where she studied fashion design and oil painting. She was an accomplished artist. Gallery type art. When WW2 broke out she had to come back to the island. Phyllis was an amazing singer and would go to the old AC hotels that were converted into Army Hospitals and she would sing to the wounded soldiers. A famous band leader Buddy Morrow heard her sing, and wanted her to tour the country with his band because she was that good. Her Father would not permit it. Had she left AC to go out on tour she never would have met the love of her life, Bernard Friedenberg who had just returned from WW2. They were married at Beth Judah Synagogue on April 11,1948 and were married 70 years. They were referred to as "The Love Birds".
Later in life she was the "STAR" of many shows at the Jewish Community in Margate as the lead singer and actress. She was SO talented!
Phyllis in her amazing and unique diversified life span was the President of Hadassah for a period of time.
Phyllis was an avid tennis player. She played Maj Jong twice a week and was a great bridge player as well. My Father had a small plane and Phyllis learned to fly. She was a great copilot.They flew all over the USA and Caribbean. She became a phlebotomist at the AC Hospital for several years. Then she went back to college at Stockton and got her 2 year Bachelor of Arts degree. A few years later she later got her real-estate license and sold and rented homes and apartments all over the island. Phyllis and Bernie both had an amazing sense of humor and were like a comedy act.
Phyllis will be missed and grieved by her three children Susan Claire Friedenberg, David Friedenberg and Gregg Friedenberg Gerson and their wives Angela and Merle and her 3 Grandchildren, Gabriel, Jake and Jessica. Phyllis lived an amazingly interesting and full life. She was my BEST friend. (Susan) She will live in my heart and soul forever.
There will be a graveside funeral -services at Rodef Sholom Cemetery on Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 at 2:00 PM. The address is - 6691 Black Horse Pike - Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support the love of her life - https://berniefriedenbergworldwariimemorial.com/
Open the link and click onto donations.
My Mother was an amazing woman and so beautiful on the inside and outside. She gave me my life which was a struggle for her…. She almost miscarried me and had to stay in bed the last 3 months of her pregnancy and even with that…. I was premature and came 2 months early. Mom had a split placenta and nearly died having me. I was 3 pounds 7 ounces and in an incubator for 2 months. Mom suffered emotionally having to leave me at the AC Hospital and expressed what milk she had and my Grandfather Daddy Jake, Dad’s Father would take it to the hospital because Mom was in bed from the birth. I owe her the life that she gave me, and I dedicated the last 4 years of her life making sure I took care of her the way she did to bring me into this life. I wanted her end of life to be filled with the love she gave me and to feel safe and nurtured at the end of her life’s journey. The 5th JEWISH Commandment is to HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER. I feel that I did and I believe in my heart that we ALL should…
Felix Nitomah who I referred to as the Black Dali Llama who was our beloved Certified Nurses Aid for both Mom and Dad for 10 years and Cynthia Thompson for 5 years and they loved my parents and kept them safe and beyond taken care of with love and dignity. Felix could not be here, he is in Colorado with his son and Grandchildren and Cynthia is here and loved my Mom with all her heart and let Mom literally LIVE in her apartment for the last 7 months and took care of Mom like she was her own Mother. I was blessed to have these 2 extraordinarily compassionate people in Mom and Dad’s life giving me peace of mind that they were nurtured and safe. Cynthia, please stand up…. I love you and will never forget how wonderful you were to Mom.
So many of you know I have been in private aviation for many years. The highlight of my career flying famous people on private jets, was flying Paul McCartney 13 times. But whose counting! On a trip, he said, “Susan Luv, I can’t remember the lyrics to a George Gershwin song, I Got Rhythm do you know that song? I said to him I know the song but not the actual lyrics, but my Mom is an amazing singer and that is her era, she sang to the troops in old hotels during WW2 in Atlantic City that were converted to hospitals for injured soldiers. She knows every George Gershwin song. We were at 47 thousand feet over the Atlantic Ocean and he said “Lets ring her up”! My parents knew I was flying him. I called home and Mom answered the phone and said” OMG HOW WAS YOUR FLIGHT WITH PAUL? I said Mom, I am here on the plane with Paul and Linda, and he can’t remember the lyrics to I GOT RYTHEM. He wants to talk to you. She was freaking out. I handed Paul the phone and he said, “ Hello Mum, I am here on the jet with your lovely daughter and she said you know the lyrics to all George Gershwin's songs. Can you sing for me I GOT RYTHEM? She sang the whole song to him. Then she asked him to sing it back to her! AND HE DID! Paul McCartney and Mom were singing to each other!!!! When we landed… I called home and Daddy answered. I said I needed to talk to Mom. Dad said Mom can’t talk! She has been screaming for 6 hours. It was one of her life’s highlights and then his manager gave me 2 tickets to his show in PHL 8th row!!!! And I took Mom.
Mom and I lived traveling together, I was fortunate to have those airline passes. I took Mom to Brussels. I was there 3-4 times a month as a crew member for Capitol Air. We would tend to go to the same restaurants near the Marriott all the time. My Mom and I were very affectionate with one another and always KITZELING each other. Holding hands, arms around each other’s shoulders…. We arrived at the hotel and the next evening we went down to the desk and we were standing in front of the deck clerk with our arms intertwined thru each other. I asked the desk clerk where there was a very local authentic Belgian, local great Brussels restaurant bar, and he looked at us and smiled, and said, "I have the perfect place for you". He gave us the address of a place and we got in a cab and went. We got there it & it looked like a cool place. We were seated and we ordered drinks, Mom loved a good martini, and I had a glass of red wine.
Then the server came over and took our dinner order. Mom and I were holding hands. All of a sudden, this woman walks over and LITERALLY starts HITTING on my Mother. I couldn’t believe it. Mom was startled by this and so was I. I looked at this woman that was not hovering over Mom at the table and I said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? She responded, I AM HITTING ON HER!!! I looked at her and I said, THIS IS MY MOTHER!! It was hysterically funny. She said, DON’T you know where you are???
I said, yes BRUSSELS!!! Trying to eat an authentic Belgian meal, and she responded, YOU ARE IN A LESBIAN BAR! Everyone in here is GAY. I like her!!! I said YOU ARE HITTING ON MY MOTHER!!! WHY DIDN’T YOU TRY AND HIT ON ME"???? She said, BECAUSE SHE IS PRETTIER THAN YOU! I asked her to GO AWAY!!! Mom and I were really cracking up. We ate and drank and left and went to the Grand Place to walk around. It was a crazy experience and a FUNNY one to say the least, When we got home I told Dad, you better be careful, WOMEN ARE HITTING ON MOM NOW! Mom and I cracked up. Taking my Mom to England, France, Italy, Aruba and many places were memories I will have for the rest of my life, and treasure. She was so much fun to hang out with and travel.
I want to tell those of you that still have your parents, everyone has an I Phone- Android that you can do videos on. I encourage you to start doing videos of your parents, I have 10 years of GREAT and FUNNY videos that live in my phone of my parents. Asking them how they met, what their first date was like, tell me more about my Grandparents, making them laugh, having them tell me funny stories about their life together videos of them together enjoying the Watermark, and MANY hilarious videos. When I am sad over Daddy’s passing 4 years ago, I will watch a Bernie video and crack up. Now Mom LIVES in the MANY videos on my I phone. I will treasure these taped videos and cherish my memories and my life with them forever. VIDEO your parents. ASK THEM QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR LIVES!
My Mom and Dad are now back together in heaven. RIP Mommy, you will live in my heart and soul forever until I meet you in heaven. You WERE my best friend and I adored you.
There are three people that would like to share a few things about my beloved Mom.
Marlene Hill was Mom’s best friend in Margate.
Richard Gelula and I have been close friends my whole life since kindergarten and would like to speak.
And one of my best friends in Philadelphia, Eileen Mijlin
Professor Doug Cervi from Stockton University
If anyone else would like to say anything about my precious Mom, feel free.
My dear friends Gary Baker and Lana Forrester ae amazing singers and have been SO supportive of this journey with my beloved Mom. One of her favorite songs that she sang was OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY written by George Gershwin. Tony Bennet and Natalie Cole loved singing it. George Gershwin wrote this song when his brother died… May I introduce you to my dear friends, Lana and Gary.