Ada Brill, 99, a longtime resident of South Jersey and former NJ State employee, died of natural causes January 21, 2015 at Lions Gate, a nursing home in Voorhees, NJ.
Mrs. Brill worked for the State of New Jersey Department of Employment in Camden for 20 years, begining in 1960. Initially holding a position of Clerk Typist, she was promoted to Senior Clerk in 1965 and Employment Security Clerk in 1967.
Ada Brill was born in Easton, PA in 1915 where she attended Centennial Grade School. Her father was a tailor and that instilled in Ada a lifelong interest in sewing; her prized possesion was her Pfaff sewing machine which she used for decades. When she was nine, the family moved to Columbia Avenue in Philadelphia where she attended the William D. Kelley school. She graduated from the William Penn High School For Girls (now the Franklin Learing Center) in 1933.
In 1938, she married Joseph Brill and the couple moved to Atlantic City, where their only child, daughter Bonnie was born in 1945. During World II, their home, which was two blocks from the ocean, was subject to forced blackouts to keep enemy planes from spotting land.
In the 1950s the family moved to Camden, NJ where they operated a general store on Spruce Street.
In 1970, the Brills moved to the Cooper River Plaza apartments in Pennsauken, where Mrs. Brill resided for almost 40 years. "Around this time in the 1970s, she started a new phase of her life, going back to school and travelling around the world. I don't think she had even been in an airplane up to this point in her late 50s," said her grandson Alan Boris. Mrs. Brill took courses at Thomas Edison College in Trenton. By 1978, she had earned 15 credits towards her Associate's degree. By 1983, she had traveled to England, Romania, Peru, Germany, Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland.
After the death of her husband in 1979 and retirement in 1980, she was active in the Temple Emanuel Sisterhood and the Senior Social of the JCC. In addition to a number of elderhostels, she attended summer retreats at the Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning in Ambler. All the while, she wowed friends and family with custom made clothing and alterations using her trusty sewing machine.
Her close companion from 1981 until his death in 1996 was Frank Robinson of Maple Shade. From 1997 until his death in 2012, she was a close companion of Jack Cooper of Voorhees. Mrs. Brill is survived by her grandson Alan Boris and several neices and nephews. She was predeceased by her daughter, Bonnie Boris Zipkin, husband Joseph Brill, brothers Lawrence and William, and sister Rebecca.