Barbara L. Greenfield, 82, a grand dame of Philadelphia real estate and a tireless worker for civic causes, died Sunday, April 6, of cardiovascular complications at her Philadelphia home.
During a career that spanned 50 years, Mrs. Greenfield was one of the leading real estate sales and listing agents for high-end residential properties in Center City.
She started out as a broker for Greenfield Realty Co., the firm founded by her late husband, Albert M. Jr. Later, she moved to Albert M. Greenfield & Co., founded by her father-in-law and now operated by her oldest son, Albert M. III. Both firms are in Philadelphia.
Mrs. Greenfield received 22 industry awards for excellence. In 1998 and 1999, she was given the Diamond Award, the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors' highest honor.
But her greatest professional satisfaction came from connecting clients with properties that she sensed they would love, her family said in a tribute.
Born in London, Mrs. Greenfield was the daughter of an American World War I veteran who stayed in England after the war and became a real estate developer.
She met Albert M. Greenfield Jr., son of a business partner of her father, during a stay in the United States. They were married in Philadelphia in 1950. During this same period, she enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned top honors in history and on stage as a member of the Penn Players.
She and her husband spent most of their private life on a farm in Chester County. He died in 2005.
She was a booster of the city who never tired of extolling its virtues.
"Philadelphia has the best of everything, the best hospitals, the best museums, the best parks, you name it, Philadelphia has it, and it is better here than anywhere else," she would tell anyone who would listen, her family said.
From 1960 to 2013, she was a trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, helping raise funds. She also served as a longtime trustee of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
In addition to her son, she is survived by daughters Deborah G. DeLauro and Kathryn G. Althage; son Douglas L.; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a brother.
A graveside service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Philadelphia Memorial Park, 124 Phoenixville Pike, Frazer. A memorial service will be held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad St., at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 18.
Donations may be made to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St., Philadelphia 19102, or the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia 19107.