Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Guru and Sister Mourn Mom's Passing

by Erin Semagin Damio

Updated by Jonathan Tannenwald with funeral arrangement information which has now been circulated around the Inquirer newsroom. I just talked to Mel and he says he's accessible to people all day today, so those of you who know how to get in touch with him can do so.

Please note as well that a version of this post also appears at our new blog, which you can get to by clicking here. It's on a different platform, so if you use RSS aggregation software please add that new feed to your program. Almost all our posts from now on will be on the new site.


Some readers may have noticed Mel's staying close to home over the past month or so; unfortunately, it was due to his mother's illness, which came to an end last night. Mel has asked me to keep everyone informed, so I'm updating with this. We'll update with funeral arrangements when they are made. Well-wishes can be posted as comments here or emailed to mgreenberg@phillynews.com.

The following is the aforementioned note that went to the Inquirer newsroom informing Mel's colleagues on the passing of his Mom.

Mel Greenberg's mother, Roslyn Greenberg passed away Thursday, Sept. 20, after a short battle with cancer, although she was not aware of her condition, diagnosed in early April, until recently. She reached age 85 on Sept. 12.

Mrs. Greenberg was preceded in her passing by her husband Jack in June, 1995.

She was also the mother of Annette Swartz, married to Perry Swartz, and the beloved Mom Mom of Allison and Neena Swartz. She was also the sister of Selda Lavine of Trenton and the late William Newland. She also had four nephews and one niece. She was a devoted friend to Marjorie and Ben Needelman.

Mel told us this.

"She grew up in North Philadelphia as the daughter of Russian immigrants. In her long lifetime was able to see her two children succeed in their chosen fields, and was also able to enjoy watching the growth of her granddaughters -- Annette teaches computers in the Colonial school district, Neena teaches Spanish at Upper Merion High, and Allison is an Executive Recruiter for a business firm in Willow Grove.

"In her later years, my mother became an Eagles fan, and enjoyed dining at restaurants, especially seafood places serving hard-shell crabs.

"Although she was technologically challenged, she still made attempts to learn the computer, and always enjoyed being in the company of friends and relatives. In her own way, she had a certain wit about her. After she moved from the Northeast, where she lived since 1950, she settled in last fall at Blue Bell Place, an assisted living home in the suburbs, and she quickly became a group leader there and prided herself in such activities as enhancing the flower garden.

"She was feisty and very aware of things until almost the very end, to the point, that just the other day, she was still giving me orders on what forthcoming family events to attend and was very focused on Allison's social life.

"For myself, I knew of her situation several months before her: At the time, my own wish was that she would be well enough to attend the recent Inquirer reception noting my Women's Basketball Hall of Fame induction. And I got that wish, to the point, I was able to give her her moment in my speech and also that many of you, who had not done so before, were able to meet her.

"In fact, she surprised many later that night by making it all the way up the stairs on her own to the after-party we had downtown on the third floor of Doc Watson's."

A funeral service will be held Sunday, Sept 23, at 1 p.m. at Joseph Levine & Son Memorial Chapel, Inc,
4737 Street Road, Trevose, PA 19053, (215) 942-4700.
A burial service will follow at Shalom Memorial Park, 25 Byberry Road, although the entrance is off Pine Road just around the corner from Byberry Road.

Maps with directions can be found at the Levine web site.

Following services and for the next several days, the family will accept visitors at the home of Annette and Perry Swartz, 476 South Silver Bell La., in Lafayette Hill. Flowers can be sent here.

The development is off Germantown Pike, just below Joshua Road. Proceeding on Germantown Pike from Chestnut Hill (or center city), Arbour Boulevard is a mile west of Church Road (heading out toward Plymouth Whitemarsh High). Make a right on Arbour Boulevard, then make a right turn at the third intersection onto Silverbell and the home is on the right side at the end of the cul de sac.

From center city, you can also take I-76 West and then go right on the Blue Route (I-476). Exit at the Germantown Ave ramp, make a right and proceed past Plymouth Whitemarsh High. The next major intersection is Joshua Road and Arbour Boulevard then comes up on the left.

Mel and his sister, would like to thank everyone in here for all your support since his mother's condition worsened a month ago.

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