Anne Leeds (Courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer)
"You couldn't meet finer people than Lewis Katz and Anne Leeds," said Scott Stetzer, of Longport, who, like many, saw Katz around Longport on Saturday. Ever since, the tiny borough has been hushed in mourning.
Leeds grew up on Mohican Street in West Oak Lane, one of seven born into "the raucous family" of Kate and John Brennan, including identical twin Eileen. She attended St. Athanasius, Little Flower, and Cardinal Dougherty High Schools.
She met her husband of 52 years during a summer as a mother's helper in Margate, where he was a lifeguard. The family lived in Wayne until retiring to the 36th Avenue beach block, across the street from Katz's house. "She was always out on her porch," said neighbor Tricia Rafter. "She always had a welcoming smile. They really enjoyed that house."
Father Joe Ferrara of Holy Trinity Parish said Leeds was a church trustee, weekly collections counter, and the driving force behind reviving Longport's Blessing of the Sea, dropped during parish upheaval. She rarely missed 5 p.m. Saturday Mass.
"She had a solid, good faith," he said. "She wanted to work for the church and help people. And she was good at it. There wasn't any negativity about her."
She taught at St. David's Nursery School in Wayne for 26 years. In Longport, she walked collecting shells and sea glass on the beach, and kept a little table and chairs set up for her grandchildren.
"If you didn't see her for a long time, she'd pick right back up, and it was all about the kids," said Bernadette Miller, a friend. "She just brought a smile to your face."
In addition to her husband and daughter, Leeds is survived by sons Ted and Ryan; sisters Eileen Reddington and Kass McManus; a brother, Ed Brennan; and nine grandchildren, who, the family's obituary said, "will miss her vegetables."
Courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer.