Wilmington legend laid to rest

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Kristy Ondo - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Sunday afternoon, friends and family said goodbye to Wilmington legend, Hannah Block.

On one side of the B'nai Israel Synagogue in Wilmington, Block's family arrived by limousine. On the other side, friends made their way inside to say farewell.

"I really can't remember when I met her," said Tony Rivenbark, the executive director of Wilmington's Thalian Hall. "I just feel like I knew her the whole time I've lived in Wilmington. She was always supportive in the arts. She has a great influence in so many different directions. She truly was a Wilmington treasure. One which we'll never see again."

Block died Friday at the age of 96.

Friends say she will be remembered as a trailblazer.

Block was the first woman elected to Wilmington's city council. She eventually went on to serve as mayor pro-tem.

She was also the first female lifeguard in Carolina Beach.

Although she paved the way for women, she also left an impact on many men.

 "Shortly after I became mayor, she summoned me to a meeting--dinner/lunch at her place," said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. "And I did a lot of the listening and ate no lunch. She wanted to tell me how important it was to beautify our community."

Friends say despite her age, she never lost her will to serve.

"The longevity of someone like her--he was active until the end," said Rabbi Robert Waxman. "Because recently she was involved in the resurrection of the USO building on 2nd street."

That building bears her name, and if you ask Block's many friends and family members, it's just one more way her legacy will live on.

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