Evelyn Phyllis Berkowitz (’54)

Published•Thu, Jul 06, 2023
“Life is beautiful. I view every day and every year as a new challenge.” These were Evelyn Berkowitz’s own words and abiding philosophy about how she approached each day of her almost 91 years of life.

Evelyn Phyllis Berkowitz was born in 1932 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the only daughter of Celia and Julius Berkowitz. When her parents and extended family moved to Houston, Texas, in 1950 to start Shapiro Brothers Wheeler Pharmacy, Evelyn, being very close to her family, chose to study pharmacy to work with her father and uncles and help build the business.

She graduated from the University of Houston School of Pharmacy in 1954, which was remarkable for a woman at that time to hold such a degree. Evelyn brought her warm, kind spirit and bright beautiful smile, along with her pharmacy skill and keen business sense, to Wheeler Pharmacy which remained well-respected and successful until its close in 2001. Thereafter, Evelyn used her keen business acumen and passion for the stock market to actively trade.

She enjoyed sharing her knowledge and expertise with family and friends. Her diverse philanthropic interests brought her great joy. For the 100th Anniversary Convention of Hadassah in Israel, Evelyn dedicated an elevator in the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, in memory of her Uncle Herman.

When Evelyn learned that the pharmacy in the hospital’s operating room was being built, Evelyn was thrilled to create a named donation for this pharmacy in honor of her parents, Celia and Julius Berkowitz. Her family’s history as pharmacists and her love of Israel made the pharmacy naming a perfect choice for her.

Evelyn was fiercely dedicated to the local Jewish community as a member of United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, along with connections to Beth Yeshurun and the Aishel House Chabad in Houston. She was a long-standing member of Henrietta Szold Group of Hadassah, which she shared with her mother, Celia, when they moved to Texas.

Throughout her life, her immense devotion to her family, her Judaism, the arts, music and doing chesed/good for others created Evelyn’s world.

She is survived by extended family of cousins and dear friends in Houston, Boston, Philadelphia and Florida.

A graveside service was held on Sunday, July 2, 2023, at Adath Emeth Cemetery.

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