February 2, 2021 ~ 20 Shevat 5781
Milton Murray Greenbaum died February 2, 2021. He would have celebrated his 91st birthday February 10. He was a loving father and husband with one son, Sandor Russell, married to Vivian who gave him two grandchildren, Sam and Madeline. Milton’s wife of 59 years, Janet, pre-deceased him April 25, 2014.
Milton was a child of the Great Depression born of impecunious parents, Sam and Bertha, in Washington Heights, a New York City neighborhood most aptly described as a German-Jewish ghetto juxtaposed to the north of Harlem. Early childhood was spent with family and friends who spoke German with greater facility than English and were bound together by both language and religion.
Both his parents, Sam and Bertha, left Germany as teen-agers for economic reasons a decade before the spawning of the Nazi Era.
His father spent most of his career as a retail meat purveyor, a line of work for which Milton showed little affinity and he luckily escaped the business which clamped a strangle hold over our father’s life.
Milton attended Stuyvesant High School on the lower East Side of Manhattan which required a daunting two-hour daily commute by rush-hour subway. Stuyvesant provided a superior education, which he and his brother both took for granted, but nevertheless required an extraordinary dedication.
Milton went on to be the first in the family to be college educated. He attended City College of New York, just south of Harlem. Unfortunately, by this time the family migrated to the diversity of Woodside in Queens County where his father owned a butcher shop and where Milton “learned the trade.” He started out as a delivery boy on a bicycle and ended up with all-too-sharp instruments in hand.
Milton graduated CCNY with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. His college career was interrupted with a brief and not especially noteworthy military career much of which was spent as a patient in the Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver Colorado.
Upon graduation from CCNY, as a freshly minted civil engineer , Milton went to work for an engineering company specialized in road construction. This was a time when President Eisenhower was paving the countryside with interstate highways that knit together the culturally insulated regions of the U.S. Milton worked on the design of I-95 in Pennsylvania, and New Jersey and it was around this time that he met and married a charming , young, immigrant nursing student from the Netherlands who was training in New York City. In due course , Janet gave birth to Sandor (Sandy) Russell.
Milton’s employer ultimately transferred him to Louisville Kentucky to work on I-64, a major east-west arterial. Milton left his employer and launched his own firm, M.M. Greenbaum and Associates, Professional Engineers. He sank roots in Louisville, Kentucky where he spent the rest of his life in residence.
He joined friends in founding a synagogue, Temple Shalom, built a successful business and became a respected pillar of his community. The business, now well run by Sandy, remains a monument to Milton’s vision, tenacity and professionalism.
Milton was active in engineering and civic organizations where he received numerous awards including the Daniel V. Terrell Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was president of the American Consulting Engineers Counsel and Scoutmaster of Troop 30 of the Boy Scouts of America. Always friendly, thoughtful and happy to help or share. He is remembered by many, many friends and respected by all those he worked with.
Funeral services are Friday, February 5, 2021 at 2 p.m. in Cave Hill Cemetery and will be available via www.facebook.com/hermanmeyerson.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Temple Shalom, 4615 Lowe Rd, Louisville, KY 40220. Arrangements entrusted to Herman Meyer & Son, Inc.