Josephine Schlenck was born on April 30, 1923 and grew up in Indianapolis in a family where love, music and literature were valued over material gain. Josephine’s choice of a career in social work was no surprise to those who knew her. After completing her bachelor degree at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, she proceeded to earn her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Chicago. While in Chicago, Josephine met and married Robert Gumbiner. They moved to Long Beach in 1949.
Josephine’s work as an MSW and licensed clinical therapist led her from Family Service of Long Beach to the Los Angeles County Department of Adoptions to United Way and back to Family Service (of Los Angeles). In addition to having a full-time career, she raised four children, pursued her love of music and traveled extensively. She showed her commitment to the Long Beach community through a variety of political and charitable volunteer activities, including serving on the board of directors for the Long Beach YWCA and the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.
Having retired from full-time work at the relatively young age of 58, Josephine was only able to enjoy a few brief years of her retirement before suffering a major stroke at the age of 63. Two years later, determined to give to the community in a new way, she established a charitable foundation for the benefit of women and children in the Long Beach area. Josephine believed in living life to the fullest, meeting each new challenge with a grace and humor few could match. Her death on June 11, 1997 was a tremendous loss. She will be remembered by many and celebrated by all.