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Published: Friday, 6/13/2003

Blindness didn't stop grocer

Louis Goldstein, 79, a retired grocery store owner and supermarket delicatessen department manager, died of cancer Wednesday in Hospice Comfort Care at Lake Park, Sylvania.

He lived the last 11 years at Pelham Manor, daughter Cheryl Weis said.

Mr. Goldstein retired on disability as restaurant and delicatessen manager of Wickford Foods at Brint and McCord roads. He lost an eye at age 7, and lost sight in the remaining eye at 52, his daughter said.

He began in the food business at 10 when, as an employee of a grocery at 14th and Beacon streets, he sacked sugar, flour, coffee, and other items that came in bulk.

“His trade starting as a young man was as a butcher,” his daughter said. Mr. Goldstein learned meat cutting from the owner of Rappaport Market and, when in his 20s, he bought the market at Indiana Avenue and Division Street.

He left ownership behind after a decade “because that's when the small independents were being smothered by the chains,” his daughter said.

He became delicatessen manager of a Food Town store and perfected the department's offerings, including its macaroni and three-bean salads. The department did a big business in cheese balls, using a recipe he perfected, and he developed a popular fruit salad.

He later was a deli manager for Joseph Super Markets and was food service manager at Tiedtke's until the store closed in 1972. He later worked at Reale's Delicatessen at Monroe and Talmadge.

“He just enjoyed the grocery business,” his daughter said.

Mr. Goldstein grew up in the Canton Avenue area of North Toledo and attended Scott High School. He was a member of the Raggedy Ass Cadets, a group made up of the children of immigrants who came from central and eastern Europe and settled in North Toledo. He made a point of attending the group's annual gatherings.

He was a member of the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association.

He lived independently, and well, with his blindness, his daughter said. “I was always amazed by him. He knew his way around his apartment and did his own laundry,” she said.

Mr. Goldstein and his wife, Marion, married in 1943. She died March 26, 1989.

Surviving are his daughters, Cheryl L. Weis, Donna Villalobos, Judy A. Gullikson, and Bonnie Garcia; sons, Charles F. and David F.; 12 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson.

Services will be at noon today in Eagle Point Cemetery, Rossford. Arrangements are by the Robert H. Wick/Wiskniewski Mortuary. The family requests tributes to Congregation Etz Chayim.

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