Obituary: Janice Segal Friedman / Helped women handle pregnancies with style

Aug. 26, 1925 - Jan. 3, 2013

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Janice Friedman dressed the famous and the familiar during the 56 years she ran Maternity Fashions, Downtown. Vera Clemente, Roberto's wife, was a customer, and so was singer Nancy Wilson.

But Mrs. Friedman's legacy may be the multiple generations of Pittsburghers she helped find stylish clothing to wear during their pregnancies, making friendships as well as sales. She even kept photos of "her babies" on the wall in her store.

The shop, first located in the Jenkins Arcade and then the Buhl Building, closed in 2004, but Mrs. Friedman, then 78, told a news reporter at the time that she was not retiring -- a statement completely in character for someone universally described as high energy.

Mrs. Friedman, who died of heart failure Thursday at age 87, grew up in Squirrel Hill and graduated from Allderdice High School before earning a degree in retailing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1947. But she already had a foothold in the business by then, having started work at Rosenbaum's Department Store, Downtown, at age 14.

From that early start, Mrs. Friedman remained active throughout her adult life.

She was a writer, penning both songs and plays and working for many years with the late actor Don Brockett.

She also took up running and completed the first Pittsburgh Marathon at age 59.

And she was a volunteer, serving on the boards of the Parental Stress Center, the International Poetry Forum, the Leukemia Society and the Civic Light Opera Society, while volunteering at local hospitals and the Salvation Army. She also was active in the National Council of Jewish Women and the National Council of Jewish Federations women's cabinet.

Because of her volunteer work, Mrs. Friedman received the Richard Caliguiri Memorial Community Award in 1996 from the Jewish Community Center, and Carlow College named her its June Woman of Spirit.

Mrs. Friedman is survived by her husband, Alter Friedman of Shadyside; daughters Amy Doran of Boynton Beach, Fla., Betsy Friedman of Point Breeze and Cathy Fleischmann of Columbus, Ohio; son John Friedman of Squirrel Hill; brothers Ivan Segal of Mt. Lebanon and Richard Segal of Sarasota, Fla.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Vitas Community Connection, in care of Innovative Hospice Care, 235 Alpha Drive, RIDC Park, Suite 101, Pittsburgh 15238, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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Steve Twedt: or 412-263-1963.


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