December 10, 2021

Resident Doris Schatz Celebrated a Centennial Birthday!

Doris and Rep Ashe

In early November we were thrilled to celebrate the 100th birthday of Doris Shatz (her birthday was October 31st)! Doris followed in the footsteps of her mother, Ruby Border, who also reached this centennial milestone.

How wonderful it was to gather together with friends and family in The Gloth Family Auditorium, to share birthday wishes, cake and ice-cream, and of course presents! State Representative Brian Ashe presented Doris with congratulations and best wishes on behalf of the House of Representatives for reaching this special occasion. Irving Lewis provided the entertainment and personally serenaded Doris too! A great time was had by all!

Doris enjoys a special connection with JGS Lifecare. Her late husband, Sam Shatz, who died in 1999, was a past Assistant Administrator of the Home, and Doris was a long-time volunteer, performing administrative tasks for many years.

Born Doris Strasberg in New York City, after attending high school and Brooklyn College, Doris met Sam and shortly after WWII they moved to Springfield, MA. Their first apartment was on Frost Street near downtown Springfield, before moving to Whittier Street in the Forest Park section of town, where she gave birth to her two sons, Steven in 1948 and Barry in 1952.

In 1956 they bought their first house in the Sixteen Acres section of Springfield before moving to a larger home on Forest Hills Road in 1963 where Doris would live for nearly 60 years.

Doris and Sam became members of Beth El Temple, and saw both of their sons have their Bar Mitzvahs there. They were members for more than fifty years.

After her children were old enough, Doris began a long career as a travel agent, working for several agencies in the area. She and Sam loved to travel, and during her more than 40 years in the business she travelled throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Japan, the Mediterranean, Central and South America. During one noteworthy trip to Africa, the company running the safari they were on suddenly went out of business and the tour ended abruptly. This, however, didn’t stop Doris and Sam, who ventured on and hooked up with another company to complete their vacation!

While Africa was a great adventure, the most significant trips for Doris and Sam were to Israel, where they travelled several times, often with their beloved sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Sonia and Harry Schatz.

They also twice toured Australia, which they loved, and, as usual, brought home gifts and souvenirs for their sons and friends.

It was after she retired from the travel business, when she was well into her 80s, that Doris volunteered at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. A hard worker all her life, she helped in the office and oftentimes put in full days of service, contributing close to 6,000 hours of volunteer service!

Sam was the assistant Director of the Home in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Some longtime employees still remember Sam and stop Doris and her son Barry when they see them to chat and reminisce. Doris’ mother Ruby also volunteered in the gift shop and coffee shop for several years.

A lifelong liberal Democrat, Doris stayed interested in national politics well into her senior years. She cried with tears of sorrow when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and cried with tears of joy when Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008. Every four years she urged her children to watch the national political conventions when they were young, telling them “this is history” and to pay attention to these significant events.

Doris encouraged her sons to read, introduced them to theater and the arts, taking them to plays at Storrowtown in West Springfield every summer of their youth. She tried to stay in touch with her growing boys’ interest in rock music, eventually becoming big fans of the Beatles and even Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead!

Doris, it was our great pleasure to celebrate your 100th birthday, and we wish you many more years of health and happiness!