EgyptAir crash cuts short lives of longtime friends

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Two of the couples were longtime friends from the Detroit suburbs, embarking on a joint vacation.

Norman and Joan Shapiro had been the closest of friends with Larry and Edith Kowalsky for more than half a century.

The foursome was headed for a one-day stop in Cairo, then on to Kenya for a two-week photography safari.

The husbands met soon after graduating from pharmacy school in the early 1950s, according to the New York Times. Each had a pharmacy in neighboring Detroit suburbs.

Norman Shapiro, 70, and Joan Shapiro, 64, were longtime members of Congregation B'nai David.

Norman and his brother, Bernard, had for many years shared the honor of taking the Torah scrolls from the ark during Kol Nidre services. The Shapiros were members of the independent, traditional synagogue for more than 30 years, said Rabbi Ben-Zion Lanxner.

Joan Shapiro had volunteered as the librarian at B'nai David and had written two romance novels, he said.

Larry Kowalsky was 74; his wife was 68.

Crash victims Natalie and Martin Greenberg of Ridgefield, Conn., were headed for their first trip to Egypt.

They'd also been looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary celebration next May, when they planned to renew their vows before Rabbi Jon Haddon at Temple Sherith Israel.

"I never remember not seeing them together," Haddon told the New York Times. "They lived life to the hilt and really contemplated this trip as the trip of their life."