Gloria Simile
Edward G. Nubel
Anne M. Holden

A quote in a May 3, 2003 Newsday article, “Helping Hands,” reads: “Community service and activism can keep retirees just as busy as their full-time jobs once did.” The three people we spotlight at this time, epitomize in their lives, the spirit of community service.

Gloria Seville was born on August 9, 1921 in Manhattan to Nicholas and Elsie Seville. As an only child, she enjoyed a serene life, uninterrupted by the commotion sometimes engendered by sibling rivalry. She attended PS 36 in Brooklyn, and graduated from Bushwick High School in a timely manner. She married Hugo (Hal) Simile in 1948, and shortly thereafter they moved to Middle Village. During her 50 years, as a resident of this area, Gloria has seen many changes take place in our neighborhood.

After graduation from High School, Gloria went to work as a Kelly Girl in the insurance industry. From this initial experience, she gained full-time employment in the insurance business with William Hentschel on Elliot Ave., later with Cook Insurance on Flushing Ave., and subsequently with Puglese Insurance on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.

Although employed full-time, Gloria always found time, on weekends, to volunteer her services at Dry Harbor Nursing Home in Middle Village. She enjoyed helping the elderly residents with their meals and performed a variety of other essential services in the institution, such as operating the switchboard. In recent years, Gloria began to “help out” with the Juniper Park Civic Association. It is not unusual to see her behind the open window at Our Lady of Hope Auditorium, at membership meetings, assisting Ed Nubel to serve coffee, tea, and cookies. Gloria speaks with special pride of the afghan she crochets annually, which is raffled off by ACRMD in Floral Park, to help mentally challenged individuals with their special needs.

When I asked Gloria what her motto for community service was, she quickly responded: “Do with your hands, not with your mouth.”

We celebrate the birth of Ed Nubel and his twin sister Betty on October 13, to Lillian and Edward Nubel, life-long residents of the Elmhurst/Middle Village area. Ed and Betty were welcomed into this world by their sisters, Helen (deceased) and Lillian. He attended PS 102 on Van Horne St. in Elmhurst, and went on to Newtown High School, where his favorite subject was Math. After graduation from high school, Ed commuted to the Drake Business School in downtown Manhattan, where he enrolled in drafting courses.

After completing his studies at Drake, Ed worked for eight years as a draftsman with M. Rosenblatt—a naval architectural outfit in New York City. For 26 years, until his retirement, he worked as a draftsman for The JC Penny Company, primarily in the Store Planning Department.

Community Service has always been an integral part of Ed’s life. As a member of the Executive Board of the Juniper Park Civic Association, he engages in a variety of activities, including being a most visible and reliable host at membership meetings. Thanks to Ed, the coffee is perked, the water for tea is boiled, and the delicious cookies are purchased in advance. As an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Ed assists with blood drives, and delivers meals to home-bound elderly persons on special holidays. He also works with the Maspeth Self-Help Senior Center to deliver meals to those unable to visit the Center. But what Ed enjoys the most is his membership in the choir of St. Stanislaus Church in Maspeth. His face lit up as he said: “I enjoy singing—makes me happy to provide happiness to others who might be lonely or depressed. Singing is really good for one’s health.”

Ed’s community service motto is: “Do something for your community. Make up for those who refuse to get involved, especially young people.”

Mary and Joseph DeCola welcomed their beautiful daughter, Anne, into this world on April 3, 1924. The DeCola household on 74th Street in Maspeth was a busy one, with five children to sustain– Ned, George, Nancy (all deceased) and Joe, who lives in Maspeth, and of course Anne. Anne attended I.S. 73 in Maspeth and Girls Vocational High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

After a stint at Grover Cleveland High School, Anne discovered an innate calling for hairdressing and took the appropriate training. For many years, she worked at Joseph’s Beauty Salon on Grand Avenue in Maspeth. Marriage to Joseph Holden in 1946, and an expanding family—Joseph, Judith, Robert and James—soon became a full-time responsibility for Anne. Nevertheless, she recounted her 25 years of employment with St. John’s Hospital in Queens. At the hospital, she enjoyed her work as an Admitting Clerk, dealing with insurance and medical records.

Despite a busy life, Anne found time to volunteer her services where needed. She regularly assists the Juniper Park Civic Association with a variety of activities, including serving coffee, “with a smile” and a kind word, at membership meetings. Dry Harbor Nursing Home also became a venue for her altruism. On a regular basis, Anne commutes to the Manhattan Veteran’s Administration Hospital on 23rd Street and First Avenue, where she assists our veterans, who have given so much to secure our freedom. On Memorial Day, and on similar occasions, one can see Anne parading down Grand Avenue or up 5th Avenue, proudly wearing the uniform of The Ladies Auxiliary of the Polish American Legion.

Community service is an honor for Anne Holden, who said: “Pitch in, help where you can.”