Julia K. Divick, 95, salon owner

October 05, 2005|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN | FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN,SUN REPORTER

Julia K. Divick, a retired beautician who repaired and sold damaged clothing and donated the profits to charity, died of respiratory failure Monday at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital. She was 95.

She was born and raised Julia Klein in Budapest, Hungary, and immigrated in 1927 to Schenectady, N.Y., where she worked as a housekeeper.

She moved to Baltimore in 1949 and, after becoming a licensed manicurist and beautician, opened Julia's Beauty Salon on Park Heights Avenue. She later moved the business to Belvedere Avenue, near Pimlico Race Course, operating it until her retirement in 1972.

Mrs. Divick was a friend of Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass' mother, and wondered what her son, owner of the Merry-Go-Round clothing store chain, did with returned merchandise. And that question soon had a new answer:

Delivery trucks began rolling up to Mrs. Divick's apartment - first on Clarks Lane, later on Sanzo Road - with boxes of returned clothing for her to rescue with her seamstress skills. After sorting and organizing the garments, she went to work.

"These were clothes that had a tear, a bad zipper or missing buttons. After repairing them, she had them sold at flea markets," said her daughter, Sandra J. Skolnik of Mount Washington.

The beneficiary of Mrs. Divick's hard work and philanthropy was the Baltimore chapter of NA'AMAT, which she joined in 1950. The mission of the international organization founded in 1921 - its name a Hebrew acronym for "movement of working women and volunteers" - is improving the quality of life for women and children in Israel through educational and vocational services.

For years, Mrs. Divick was able to donate $20,000 annually to the Hannah Senesh chapter in Baltimore, making it one of the most financially productive in the nation.

"No matter where she went, she found a charitable cause. She returned to Budapest for a visit and ended up sending money for years to the Dohany Street Synagogue, which she had attended in her childhood," her daughter said. "It was all for charity. It was her way of doing for other people."

Mrs. Divick - a fan of physical fitness guru Bernarr Macfadden - took his message to heart and would exercise daily by taking long walks and eating a healthy diet.

She was a member of Ner Tamid Congregation, and decided when she was 85 to keep a kosher kitchen.

"Well, it was a kosher kitchen according to her way. She was a person who always marched to her own drummer," Mrs. Skolnik said.

Services will be held at noon tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.

Mrs. Divick is also survived by two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her first husband, Louis Scott Morrison, died in 1943. Her subsequent marriage to Raymond Divick ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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