Lee Snell Greenberg, 103

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 6:30pm
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Lee Snell Greenberg, 103, of Westport, Connecticut passed away on Friday, January 29, in the comfort of her beloved home of 43 years at 9 Duck Pond Road.

Born January 22, 1918 in Hell’s Kitchen, New York to Rebecca Sprintz and Harry Snellnikoff. Lee dreamed about living in the country and did so. Her marriage to the late Nathan H. Greenberg brought her to Westport in 1941 where Nat operated the Westport Hardware Store for more than 55 years, and during those years he also became a trusted real estate developer.

Nat Greenberg first came to Block Island in the 1950s, frequently staying with his family at “Gravels,” the rooming house now owned by the Hobe family. In the late 70s Walter Filkins, later married to Lee’s daughter Debbie, built the Greenberg home on Southwest Point Road. For more than 40 summers Lee was a daily fixture at the State Beach leading yoga/exercise class, holding court under her blue striped cabana, rain or shine, with her family, playing Scrabble with her tribe, Betty, Mania, Pearl, Martha, Jean, Bobbie, Teresa, Charlotte, Barbara and many others. Lee was a devoted participant at the Spring Street Gallery displaying her sculptures and hosting openings. She was an active member of The Sons and Daughters of Ruth. French Club and Thursday’s Breakfast and Bagels gatherings were favorite events.

Lee’s loyalty to life by the sea was definitely passed on to her Block Island born grandchildren Jessica and Walter Filkins. Her daughter Gail Greenberg and Peter Brucker had a maritime wedding on the William Hand in Old Harbor in 1984. Later the family made a leap from California, spending a full year while Karuna and Allegra attended the Block Island School. In 2017 Allegra married Monk on-island bringing the entire clan together honoring Lee for a final time. The salty gene passed to their children Phoenix and Zephyr who are born lovers of the wind and the sea. Daughter Linda and Leslie Libow vacationed here often from New York City. Fresh Pond is their daughter Alana’s favorite swimming hole as she was a frequent visitor. Adam and Bea Libow brought joy to Lee bringing great grandchildren Henry and Hannah to her beach. Lee’s son Michael, and Amy Greenberg now have their summer residence on the Block to share with their tribe Nathan, Noah, Leah, Alex, Corey and six grandchildren. The baton has been passed.

Thanks to the irreplaceable gift, love, endless dedication and careful driving of her 18-year caregiver Gina, Lee maintained her daily routine of morning activities, lunch to closing at State Beach and dinners with family at the round table watching the sunset over Warden’s Pond.

Lee finally was ready to let go early Friday morning, January 29. She was in her Westport home, comfortable and at peace as she said her last goodbyes to Gina.

Lee was buried January 31st. We had a cold Zoom funeral where she joined her husbands Nat Greenberg and Jaques Sternberg in Norwalk Connecticut. She lived an incredibly interesting, active, full life from her New York City birth during the height of the 1918 Spanish Influenza to the Coronavirus and the politics of today. From one pandemic to another her mind stayed sharp, her humor present, and thank god she lived long enough to become a softer, more loving person. She has left a large imprint on this earth. May she rest in peace.

In lieu of sending flowers, the family welcomes donations in Lee’s memory to the Block Island Historical Society, PO Box 79, Block Island, RI 02807; Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue, PO Box 781, Block Island, RI 02807; and Sons and Daughters of Ruth, PO Box 277, Block Island, RI 02807.