Edna M. Rosenberg, public relations director, dies at 106

Edna M. Rosenberg, a lively centenarian who had been public relations director for her husband’s insurance company, died Oct., 24 in her sleep at her Pikesville home. She was 106.

The former Edna Mazer was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Upper Darby, Pa. She was the daughter of Jacob Mazer, an engineer and inventor, and Fannie Mazer, a milliner.

After graduating from Upper Darby High School, she enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I was the only woman student in the school of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. One of my professors would not even let me attend his classes — he said he would not have a woman in his class,” she explained in a 1984 newspaper article.

“But when I opened my degree certificate it had a bachelor of fine arts, while all my fellow students had a master of architecture.”

When Mrs. Rosenberg asked about the obvious mistake, she was told that Penn did not confer architecture degrees on women.

Because of the Great Depression and the fact that jobs in architecture were scarce, she dropped the matter and went to work in advertising.

In 1982, however, she prevailed upon the university to correct her degree. After two years of heavy lobbying, she finally received the proper degree.

In 1936, she married Leonard Rosenberg, and 20 years later, he founded the Chesapeake Life Insurance Co., which was located at St. Paul and Centre streets in Mount Vernon.

The couple had lived for 30 years in Dickeyville, and then three decades in Cross Keys. For the last seven years, she had resided in Pikesville.

Her husband died in 1998.

Mrs. Rosenberg had been on the board Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Center Stage, and New Directions for Women, and also had been an active member of the National Council of Jewish Women.

She had been a charter member at the Renaissance Institute of Notre Dame of Maryland University and had been on its faculty until she suffered a stroke in 2011.

Mrs. Rosenberg had been a member of Oheb Shalom Congregation.

Mrs. Rosenberg was an accomplished artist who painted landscapes and portraits. She also was a sculptor. Mrs. Rosenberg enjoyed spending summers in Gloucester, Mass., where she was a member of the board of the North Shore Art Association.

She had illustrated a popular children’s book, “Big Brother, Little Brother,” which was written by a sister, the late Marion Mazer Lister, and published in 1946.

Mrs. Rosenberg’s recipe for longevity, family members said, was to keep active.

”My parents were big walkers and they would walk three days a week from Dickeyville to the insurance company. She believed in exercise,” said her daughter, Laurie Rosenberg of Pikesville.

“She ate everything that was put in front of her, but did not smoke,” Ms. Rosenberg said. “She liked chocolate ice cream and Tanquery gin and tonics, and only spent the last five weeks of her life in a wheelchair.”

Mrs. Rosenberg was an inveterate reader, book club member, bridge player and world traveler.

“She lived life to the fullest,” said her daughter, who added that her mother was 105 when she rode the mechanical bull at the Inner Harbor’s Power Plant Live.

Funeral services were held Friday at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by two sons, Theodore Rosenberg of Baltimore and Victor Rosenberg of Framingham, Mass.; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson. Another son, Leonard H. Rosenberg Jr. died in 1998.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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