The Legacy Midtown Park Nurse Lunch Bunch
Photo: Deb Silverthorn
At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, Bob Weinfeld will interview a group of career nurses, now neighbors, at The Legacy Midtown Park. From left: Gay Gilmore, Joanie Genender, Barbara Moses, Barbara Schulman and Terri Mann

Bob Weinfeld interview Jan. 31

By Deb Silverthorn

The Nightingale Pledge, named after Florence Nightingale, reads that a nurse will “solemnly pledge myself to the service of humanity.” At least five residents of The Legacy Midtown Park (LMP), now neighbors, carried that creed for decades. The experiences they each lived are often their conversation as they gather in their new home.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, at The Legacy Midtown Park, Bob Weinfeld will interview the quintet as part of his “Getting to Know…” series. The program is free and open to the public.

“I look forward to speaking to these ladies because they are all fairly new to me. It will be wonderful to get to know them and their stories,” said Weinfeld, who has interviewed over 150 people through the years.

Since its opening in March 2021, the five women have become neighbors from nearby and across the country.

Joanie Genender

Joanie Genender was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada, and lived later on in Toronto with her parents, Sara and Saul Ross, and two siblings, all of blessed memory. Her mother had emigrated from Russia as a young child and always dreamed of becoming a nurse — a dream realized by her daughter.

Genender earned her nursing degree from Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, a hospital of only women professionals and faculty. There, she worked for two years before enrolling in a Public Health Nursing program at the University of Toronto for which she had received the General Proficiency Scholarship. She began her career in general medicine at Women’s College, then working in Detroit and Miami Beach.

She met her husband, Larry, a surgical resident at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. The two went to a play and talked into the wee hours. At that point he proposed and eight months later they were married — their family tree branches extended now to three sons and eight grandchildren.

Genender worked in the psychiatric ward and the newborn nursery at Kings County Hospital. After Larry’s residency the couple moved to Quebec, where he opened a private practice in Montreal and Genender was his nurse and office manager. When the family moved to Dallas, she continued working by his side, 35 years in total.

“We were married just over 60 years and Larry and I loved it here,” said Genender. She and her husband moved to LMP’s Aaron Towers just 15 months before he passed away July 23. “The people, the caring and warmth of the residents have been a blessing and an incredible support system. The Legacy is a beautiful family of wonderful friends, and I am so fortunate to be living here.”

Gay Gilmore

Gay Gilmore was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the only daughter among Ruth and Marion Chastain’s three children. Her father was a minister and her mother worked by his side and as a choir director. A life of service was all she ever knew.

“Mother was always interested in a career in medicine, and I followed that,” said Gilmore, who graduated from Texas Woman’s University, one of the country’s first four-year BSN programs.

Gilmore met her future husband, Jim, while he was in medical school at UT Southwestern. The couple have been married for 62 years and built a family that’s grown to three children and two grandchildren. She worked in Baylor Hospital’s newborn nursery, as a school nurse at John Q. Adams Elementary School and Ben Milam Elementary Schools and, later on, at her husband’s surgery center in North Dallas.

“Meeting these women who share my passion for the career has been a gift,” she said. “Nursing is something I’ve always been grateful that I was able to work where and how I did while raising my family. So many ways to give and to help and while I haven’t been in the workplace in some time, I’ve always felt connected and certainly appreciative of my profession.”

The Gilmores moved to LMP in August, reserving their apartment as the building was going up, wanting to be sure to be close to their dear friends and longtime travel buddies Linda and Larry Elkin. The couples had for years talked about “the next” phase of life.

“As nursing students, we took field trips to Golden Acres so it’s amazing I’m now living here. We’ve made so many friends and, although we aren’t Jewish, we love, respect and are thankful for all that we’re learning and the relationships we are building,” Gilmore said.

Terri Mann

Terri Mann, an El Paso native and the daughter of Charlotte and Harold, of blessed memory, is the third of four children. A candy striper while in high school, she graduated from Texas Woman’s University with both a bachelor’s and Master of Science in Nursing degrees. Beginning in 1977, she spent two years living in Israel, learning Hebrew and working as a nurse in Safed and Tel Aviv.

Mann spent years as a psychiatric nurse at Terrell State Hospital and clinics in Fort Worth. She completed licensed professional counselor coursework, then worked for Visiting Nurses Association and VITAS Healthcare Hospice. She continued at the latter as a volunteer once she retired.

“I learned to help families realize the only way out of grief is to go through it. It’s difficult, and painful, but I was able to ‘take off’ my nursing cap, and still use my years of experience, to be there for those losing their loved ones,” said Mann.

She added, “I love that our nurse group has found one another, and I’ve enjoyed learning about their life experiences. We speak so much of the same language.”

Mann met her husband of nearly 39 years, Dr. Andras Lacko, at a Dallas JCC singles event, and the two lived in Fort Worth and became members of Beth-El Congregation. Mann volunteered at Beth-El and in her spare time has always enjoyed dancing and working as a master gardener. “Vitamin ‘N’ equals nature,” she said.

Mann and Lacko moved to LMP in October 2021 but her heart, and history with The Legacy, goes back decades as her grandfather and uncle lived at the Golden Acres Dallas Home for Jewish Aged.

“At The Legacy, so much that is offered is for the health of our mind, body and spirit and those things have always been important to each of us,” she said.

Barbara Moses

Barbara Moses’ nursing career came about because her younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 7. She observed many disturbing things regarding the nursing care he received during his illness and vowed to someday become a nurse and to right the wrongs she had seen, especially regarding excluding patients’ families from their care plan.

“Sadly, he died when he was 9 and I was 12,” said Moses, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native and daughter of Claire and Sam Zeldin, of blessed memory. She never changed her mind about becoming a nurse.

After earning a diploma in nursing from Albert Einstein Medical Center School of Nursing, Moses began working in that hospital’s psychiatric unit and then as an IV therapy nurse. While working full time, she attended the University of Pennsylvania in the evenings — earning a BSN years later at Baylor University and an MBA at the University of Dallas. She then worked in clinical research for two medical device companies.

In Boston, Moses ran Brigham Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab. Once in Texas, she worked for Planned Parenthood and, for 20 years, as a clinical research nurse and faculty member in many departments at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She established and chaired UTSW’s Clinical Researchers Group, taught prepared childbirth classes for 10 years and has been published in many professional journals.

Moses, who moved to LMP in April 2022, has one daughter and two grandchildren. She’s been a Temple Emanu-El choir member for more than 30 years, served as Hadassah Dallas chapter president and now sits on Hadassah’s local and Greater Southwest Region boards. She was newsletter editor of the Faculty Women’s Club of UTSW and remains on its board.

“When asked, ‘How are you enjoying retirement?’” said Moses, remaining busy with LMP programming, UTSW connections, choir, Hadassah and more, “I say ‘I have no idea how I ever found time for work.’”

Barbara Schulman

Barbara Schulman was visiting family in Dallas in May 2021 when a visit to The Legacy presented itself. After 60 years in Los Angeles, the warm welcome she received prompted her to make a move cross-country.

Meeting friends of all sorts, it has meant much to her to find this circle of nurses with such different life and work experiences, yet at the same time so much the same.

“Really, you never stop being a nurse. I love and respect the career I’ve had,” said Schulman, born in Düsseldorf, Germany, to Gittel and Julius Lippel, of blessed memory. Her family went into hiding in Belgium once World War II began. Theirs was the only nuclear core of their extended family to survive.

In 1949, the Lippels emigrated to the Lower East Side of New York, where she graduated from New York University’s Bellevue School of Nursing. Schulman followed a life in nursing because of the care she’d seen for children while in hiding and when she and her mother helped those who were sick while in shelter.

Schulman was a U.S. Army Nurse Corps lieutenant when she met her future husband, J. Brin, an attorney in the Judge Advocate General corps. In 1961 they married and made Los Angeles, California, their home. They raised five children, enjoyed four grandchildren and were married for 49 years before he passed away.

Schulman served in U.S. Army operating rooms at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas; Ft. Ord, California; and Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany. She worked as a home health clinician; for nearly 20 years, she was lead transplant coordinator at University of California at Los Angeles’ Regional Organ Procurement Agency, then spent 10 years in that field at the University of Southern California. She’s the Network and Alliance of Transplant Coordinators’ founding president and worked as an expert witness, medical ethicist and television consultant.

“Nursing was a satisfying, challenging and exciting career and I worked in new and developing areas, with the greatest,” said Schulman.

That Nightingale Pledge continues, “and will endeavor to practice my profession with conscience and with dignity.”

These women are lifelong caretakers — always with conscience, always with dignity.

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