Pillar of the community celebrates his 71-year marriage and the passion for Einstein he shared with his late wife
“Whatever a man has is, in the end, only a gift.”
This is one of Fred Braemer’s favorite sayings—and throughout nearly five decades of supporting Einstein and the people it serves, he and his late wife Minerva lived it by sharing whatever they had with family and the community.
“In devoting themselves to Einstein, Fred and Minerva taught their son and grandchildren to value loyalty, heritage, family and commitment to one’s com- munity,” says Einstein Healthcare Network President & CEO, Barry Freedman. “They have touched tens of thousands of lives with their kind and giving spirit.”
Fred, the youngest of five children, came to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh during the Great Depression to work in a cigar factory. Minerva, a native Philadelphian, met him while working for the U.S. Census Bureau. After a whirlwind courtship, they married in 1939 on New Year’s Eve and relied on each other during the lean years of the Depression and World War II. After the war, Fred joined a detective agency started by his father-in-law and built it into the nationally known Globe Security Systems, where Minerva worked for many years as its chief accountant. As their livelihood flourished, they sought ways to help others through volunteerism and philanthropy—and Einstein was at the top of their list.
“My parents’ history instilled in them the need to give back part of their good fortune to the community,” recalls Richard Braemer, Esq., senior counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP. “They had the time, desire and resources to get involved, and for many years Einstein was their principal devotion.”
As co-founding member and president of Einstein’s Ethel R. Chernicoff Charities, Minerva ran the group’s annual Regency Ball. She also sold flowers in the lobby of the Levy
Building—where she became known as “the flower lady”—and was a key organizer in the Einstein Auxiliary’s annual Harvest Ball.
Fred’s involvement began in 1964 as a member of the Einstein Board of Trustees, followed by his election as president and CEO (the last volunteer to hold that post before it became a paid position). He was also a founding member of the Albert Einstein Society, which honored the couple in 1992.
“I have been involved with a number of organizations over the years, but Einstein is my passion,” says Fred.
“Einstein became part of the DNA of both my parents,” adds Richard. “Not only were they financially generous to Einstein, they both readily sought out others to support Einstein in the same way.”
It was no surprise to many that Richard would follow in his parents’ footsteps, serving on the Einstein Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Governance Committee. As Einstein Board Chairman from 2005 to 2009, he helped the network regain its independence and solidified plans to expand through the opening of its newest hospital, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.
The gift that may hold the most meaning for the family is embodied by the recent naming of the Minerva D. Braemer Medical Arts Building at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery in honor of the woman to whom Fred was happily married for 71 years until her passing in 2010. Located on the East Norriton campus of the newly built Einstein Montgomery, the medical arts building features a growing array of Einstein-affiliated and independent practices offering outpatient surgery, MossRehab rehabilitation therapy and high-quality services in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, obstetrics/ gynecology, neurology and pain management.
“The Minerva D. Braemer Medical Arts Building houses critical services and offers our patients hope,” said Freedman at the dedication ceremony in February 2013, noting that the question, “What’s best for Einstein?” has always guided the Braemer family’s decisions.
“The gift that my father has made in memory of my mother can truly be said to be a gift of love,” adds Richard. “What better way is there to combine both the love of a departed spouse and the love of an institution? It is a wonderful example for all of us.”
Interested in making a tribute gift honoring someone special - a loved one, a caregiver, a physician or nurse? Visit the Tribute section of the Einstein Healthcare Network Web site or contact Ariel Belli (215) 456-6211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about the many ways you can help support the mission of Einstein Healthcare Network.