And now for some desperately needed happy news. A Jewish couple originally from Charm City but now living in the Sunshine State is celebrating two hefty milestones together this year: 100 years of life, and 80 years of marriage.
Baltimore natives Lou and Edith Bluefeld, who now live in Boca Raton, Fla., have known each other since they were 16. For more than four decades, they helped run Bluefeld Catering, a family-owned kosher catering company based in Northwest Baltimore. The company was founded in 1937 in East Baltimore’s old Workmen’s Circle Hall by Mr. Bluefeld’s Russian-born mother, Bessie, and dominated the local kosher market for decades, according to “Jewish Baltimore: A Family Album” (Johns Hopkins University Press) by Gilbert Sandler.
The business fed American presidents and visiting foreign dignitaries, and they even helped kasher the White House kitchen. They also cooked for the late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin when he was in Washington, D.C., for the 1978 Egypt peace accord announcement, according to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report.
Mr. Bluefeld turned 100 on Jan. 9, while Mrs. Bluefeld will reach that milestone on Aug. 4, NBC’s WPTV reported. Their 80th wedding anniversary falls on Feb. 23.
The Bluefelds first met as teenagers. Mr. Bluefeld belonged to the Criterion Club, an athletic organization which was holding a get-together at the old Howard House Hotel on North Howard Street, and they both showed up with dates. He wound up getting her phone number that evening and calling her two nights later.
The Bluefelds got hitched on Feb. 23, 1941. Mr. Bluefeld served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and the couple spent three years apart during the conflict.
The Bluefelds have two children and two granddaughters. They sold their catering company in 1984 and moved to Boca Raton more than 30 years ago.
The Bluefelds plan to celebrate with their children and grandchildren later this year if the family has all received the COVID-19 vaccine.
So, what is the key to the Bluefelds’ longevity and success as a couple?
“I was the boss. I was totally the boss. She told me that,” Mr. Bluefeld told WPTV. “In reality, she was the boss, and I didn’t realize. … Our blessing is we have each other.”
Gabe Friedman writes for the JTA global Jewish news source. Jmore contributed to this report.