She was born on June 6, 1904 in Ogdensburg, New York, smack in the middle of the 10 Cornblat children, and grew up in Smiths Falls, "Where," she explains, "my father was in secondary materials."
Then, with a twinkle in her eye, 94-year-old Eva Epstein adds, "He was a junk dealer."
Coming from such a large family guaranteed, all through her life, that there were always plenty of people around. "So I never had the feeling I was going to be left alone," she says.
But today Eva Epstein is alone. And, being alone, the widow of the late Samuel Abbey Epstein and the sole surviving member f the original Cornblat clan readily acknowledges, "I cannot imagine living along. I am so grateful that I had Hillel Lodge to come to."
As a resident of the lodge, Eva Epstein can relax and enjoy the company of fellow residents, secure in the knowledge that kind and caring staff are always there to respond to all her needs.
"I am very well cared for here at Hillel Lodge," says Mrs. Epstein. "The care here is excellent. The meals are good, and they are kosher. The rooms are comfortable. We have a synagogue here, and the people are friendly.
"It's not an exciting life but it's a very secure life," she says with obvious contentment. "I find it very fulfilling. I've had the same friends for years and," she says, smiling her charming smile, "we are all getting older at the same time."
Mrs. Epstein held a responsible job in an insurance firm until she was 75. She chuckles at the memory of obtaining her skills from the Kent Street school for secretaries which bore the lofty name of 'The School for Higher English and Applied Arts.'
Both she and her husband Sam, a travelling salesman, were active in Jewish communal life. Although the sprightly nonagenarian admits, as a young woman she had never anticipated giving a Jewish seniors' residence as her home address.
"I remember that our Emunah Chapter held meetings here and that I was involved with the Women's Auxiliary of Hillel Lodge," she says. "Other than that I don't remember giving Hillel Lodge much thought. But I am so grateful it is here for me. I have enjoyed every minute of my life here.
The modest Mrs. Epstein fails to allude to here years as a volunteer and board member. She ably served as the board's secretary in the late '70s and early '80s.
Eva Epstein is looking forward to taking up residence in the new Bess and Moe Greenberg Family Hillel Lodge in the Joseph and Inez Zelikovitz Long Term Care Centre on the Broadview Jewish Community Campus.
"Besides the Jewish atmosphere, we will have easier access to so many recreational and social opportunities," she says happily.
Indeed they will. Once the new seniors' facility is located on the Campus, residents easily will share in community simchas via an underground tunnel leading directly into the Joseph and Rose Ages Family Building. The Jewish communal family will be complete.
The Community Capital Campaign has launched the final thrust of its fund-raising efforts to raise $1.5 million that will see a state-of-the-art Jewish Home for the Aged rise on the Jewish Community Campus. For our deserving community elders, for the deserving elders we will become, please respond generously.