Eleanor Barbara Lenox

by | Jun 8, 2023 | Obituaries

VIRGINIA BEACH – Eleanor Lenox, lovingly known to some as Ellie, passed away on May 7, 2023, at the age of 87 at her home at the Terrace at Beth Sholom Village in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Born on February 27, 1936, in Worcester, Massachusetts, Eleanor lived a life defined by her roles as wife, mother, grandmother, and volunteer.

Eleanor grew up in Worcester in an orthodox Jewish home. She was quite athletic in her younger years, enjoying sports such as tennis, ice skating, and bowling. She married her husband, Seymour Lenox, on Thanksgiving Day, 1957. Seymour passed away a mere month before what would have been their 55th wedding anniversary. Throughout their marriage, they stuck with each other through good times and bad, adopted their only son, moved from their home in Massachusetts to Virginia when the U.S. Navy consolidated their Atlantic Fleet home ports to Norfolk, reared their son together as amazingly wonderful parents.

During these years, Eleanor worked in secretarial support for an architectural firm, customer service for an oil company, and finally with a pharmaceutical company. At each position, she found a way to make friends and to make those to whom she provided services laugh and smile. While working these jobs, she also found the time to serve as a den mother for a Cub Scout troop, to drive her son and his friends to various school events and extra-curricular activities (and sat through many of those excruciatingly painful band concerts, club events, and debate tournaments without muttering a complaint – at least none that her son could hear), and always ensured that her son was well fed, the latter trait being one that she had a very difficult time relinquishing, even to her dying day. Eleanor was the type who would give you the proverbial shirt off her back.

She and Seymour retired together and enjoyed their time as grandparents to their three grandchildren, often getting on the floor and playing with them and helping them build with blocks and Legos. During her retirement, she continued her dedication to serving those around her. Her passion for helping others led her to spend over three decades volunteering at Beth Sholom Village, a Jewish, faith-based non-profit organization providing a continuum of care to those of all faiths through rehabilitation, memory care, and skilled nursing services, as well as graduated assisted living for older members of the community. At Beth Sholom, Eleanor gave over 10,000 hours of her time, first feeding residents and then becoming one of the founding members of the gift shop there.

Eleanor’s focus on her Jewish faith and the values it teaches was a cornerstone of her life. She found great joy in attending services and participating in religious activities. While today it is common for 13-year-old girls to become Bat Mitzvah, that was not the case in 1949. But at 74 years old, she worked hard to learn Hebrew and read from the Torah on her Bat Mitzvah in October of 2010 at Congregation Beth Chaverim, where she was one of the founding members and served in multiple positions.

When she realized the time had come to move from her house in Virginia Beach of 47 years, there was only one place she would consider going – Beth Sholom Village, where she kept an apartment for over two years and where she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Eleanor is preceded in death by her mother Edith Sigel, father Charles Sigel, husband Seymour Lenox, and brothers Irving and Morton Sigel. She is survived by her son Bradford Lenox and wife Cheryl Woodard-Lenox, as well as her grandsons Jacob, Adam, and Benjamin Lenox.

She will be forever remembered by her family and friends for lending her helping hand wherever it was needed and perhaps as much as anything for her wicked sense of humor. She was loved by all who knew her.

A graveside service took place at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in honor of Eleanor’s life. Although we mourn her passing, we find solace in the memories that she leaves behind and the impact she had on our lives. Eleanor’s kindness, dedication, and love will never be forgotten. Contributions to Beth Sholom Village (https://bethsholomvillage.com/donate/ ) in her memory would be a wonderful way to remember her.