Madison Kantzer never met her grandmother, Adele Schiff Greene. Greene died in 1969 when Kantzer’s mom was only 14. Though the two have never met, Kantzer kept her late grandma’s memory alive by wearing her dress to her wedding.
“My mother talks about her a lot, it’s weird I’ve never met her,” Kantzer told TODAY.
Much of what Kantzer knows about her grandmother has been gleaned from stories told by her mom and Carl and Geraldine Simon, Greene’s friends who essentially became Kantzer’s adopted grandparents.
“My mother was a woman ahead of her time. She actually had applied to law school before she died. She was a very progressive kind of gal. She was also very fashion conscious,” Patricia, Greene’s daughter and Kantzer’s mother said.
One of the few possessions Greene’s family had left was a beautiful beaded gown that Greene first wore to her son’s (Kantzer’s uncle’s) bar mitzvah in 1966. With intricate details and a delicate floral pattern, the dress is still absolutely stunning nearly 50 years later.
The family doesn’t know much about the wedding dress other than the fact that Greene bought it from Hirshleifers in Manhasset, NY, in 1966. Since her passing, Patricia kept the dress in a brown paper bag in the attic. It remained there untouched (unless a cousin wanted to play dress-up) until preparations began for Kantzer’s wedding.
Patricia was against altering the dress, so it was a relief when the family discovered that Greene’s dress fit Kantzer like a glove.
To continue the tradition of borrowing from her elders, Kantzer’s then-boyfriend and now-husband, Adam Hoffmann, proposed with a ring that belonged to Simon, Kantzer’s adopted grandmother. How sweet!
While Kantzer and her grandmother might not have shared time together on this earth, they share more than just a dress.
“She felt strongly about causes, and I see that in Madison, too,” Patricia said.
Excuse us while we grab some tissues!
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