East Norriton, PA – Leonard Oskow, 96, of East Norriton, PA passed away on Friday, November 29, 2019. He was was born in Philadelphia on March 12, 1923 to Max and Sarah Oskowitz. He was the youngest of his siblings, Eve and Bertha. Lenny graduated from Simon Gratz High School, Class of 1940. His favorite part of school was his time on the gymnastics teams.
After enlisting at the age of 17, Lenny spent 3 proud years serving his country in the US Navy. During that time, he worked as a dental assistant. When he got out of the Navy, he exemplified bravery once again by going into business with his father-in-law! For many years, he worked beside Florence’s father, Barney, in Barney’s paper company. He later worked in the kitchen cabinet industry, and when he was in his 80s, he worked during summers at the front desk of a large condominium in Atlantic City, greeting people with a big dimpled smile. Lenny worked for many years to provide for his wife and family.
He dated quite a lot when he was young, and he rarely turned down an opportunity for a blind date. He seldom dated the same girl more than once or twice. As soon as he heard those inevitable words – “Will you call me again?” – Len would be turned off and have no desire to call that girl again.
One day, Lenny was given a phone number for a potential blind date. The girl’s name was Florence. He took her into center city to see a movie. Throughout the movie, he wasn’t feeling well, and as soon as they left the theater, Len threw up – right there in the street. This was obviously not a great way to make a first impression on a girl. He felt bad about it and offered to take her out to eat. Florence said he was crazy and asked him to take her home instead.
Lenny really had no interest in a second date with Florence, but felt he owed her one to make up for the disastrous first date. He found out later that she had the same feeling – really no interest in seeing him again but feeling sorry for him and willing to give him a second chance.
Lenny and Florence’s second date didn’t exactly go as planned either. After a very nice dinner, during which he discovered Florence’s wonderful sense of humor, they decided to take a drive. While driving north on Route 611, they saw a sailor hitchhiking. Lenny decided to pick the hitchhiker up, assuming he was traveling to the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, which at that point was approximately six miles away. The sailor dozed off while they were driving, and when they pulled up opposite the Naval Air Station, Len woke him. Only then did Lenny discover that the sailor was on a 30-day leave and on his way home, which was in Easton, another 60 miles
away. Leonard had been in the U.S. Navy, but even if he hadn’t been, he felt he could never abandon a sailor in need! So they drove him to his destination in Easton and Lenny didn’t get Florence home until 3-4:00 in the morning.
For some reason, Florence gave him another chance to make it up to her, and the rest is history. They eventually got married and became a “happily ever after” love story. They were happily married for 61 years before Florence passed away in 2015.
Lenny was always extremely close to his family. When Gail and Shelly were growing up, they would spend their summers in Atlantic City, NJ. Lenny would take his daughters crabbing and on bike rides down the boardwalk. When Lenny became a grandfather, the tradition lived on and he could be found in the ocean with his three giggling grandchildren any time he wasn’t snoozing in the sand with his sons-in-law.
Len is a true lover of animals. As a child, he found a nest of praying mantises and was worried they’d be cold. He brought the nest inside where tons of eggs hatched, much to his mother’s disapproval. When his children were young, they had cats, rabbits, mice, gerbils, an ant farm, newts, frogs, a dog, and even a skunk named Chanel! Lenny had many books on dog breeds and he could spot a breed in an instant. Animals were always drawn to him – just like people were.
Florence and Lenny moved to Florida for many years. They enjoyed the sunshine, the beach and each other. They eventually moved back up north to be close to their family. Lenny spent the last 9 years living at Brightview Senior Living in East Norriton, PA. There, he was unofficially and affectionately dubbed the Mayor of Brightview. He was involved in all activities and loved by staff and residents alike. When he wasn’t in the dining hall with his friends, he was playing pinochle with the guys, in the movie theater, or enjoying happy hour at the Pub. He attended several of the field trips provided by Brightview and went to the gym several days a week to stay active. Lenny loved driving, his iPhone, Facebook and taking the stairs rather than the elevator – he loved to feel young! Age was just a number for Lenny.
Lenny LOVED to dance. At any and all Brightview parties, Len could be found on the dance floor with a crowd of women around him. If his dimples weren’t enough to get the ladies’ attention, his dance moves certainly were! Shortly before his passing, Lenny attended his granddaughter, Mandy’s, wedding. Despite still recovering from a broken hip, Lenny was on the dance floor and was a total hit. He even led a conga line. Len was always the life of the party and his smile was infectious.
Lenny is loved and missed by his daughters Shelly Homer (and husband, Guy) and Gail Kallen (and husband, Bruce). He is the loving grandfather of Kevin Homer (and wife, Tara), Mandy Salay (and husband, Keith), and Melissa Kallen (and wife, Dee). Lenny was about to become a great-grandfather, as Kevin & Tara are expecting the birth of their son next month.
The family has decided to celebrate the life of Lenny Oskow privately. Please feel free to make a donation in Len’s honor to the charity of your choosing.