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Published: Thursday, 10/6/2005

Butcher operated grocery stores

Morris R. Greenberg, 97, a butcher who owned Toledo grocery stores for about 40 years, then worked 18 years in a supermarket meat department, died yesterday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue.

He'd been ill recently and, because of dementia, lived the last two months in the Goerlich Center, his son Joseph said. Mr. Greenberg and his wife, Helen, lived at West Park Place the last four years and in Sylvania about 40 years.

Mr. Greenberg retired about nine years ago from Churchill's Super Market on Monroe Street in Sylvania, where he cut and repackaged meat and did "anything that required a knife," his son said. "His work was his hobby."

Mr. Greenberg learned as a store owner to keep customers happy, and he never forgot, said Bob Carpenter, who managed the Churchill's Monroe store.

"Nothing was an inconvenience. That was his profession. He was a grocer and a butcher," said Mr. Carpenter, now a partner in Bassett's Markets, which has opened at former Churchill's locations on Monroe and in Perrysburg. "He was highly respected in the local community."

Mr. Greenberg was a child when he emigrated with his family from Russia. He grew up on Sherman Street, peddled newspapers and, after ninth grade, went to work for his brothers Abe and Nate at their Ashland Market on Ashland Avenue near Bancroft Street. There he learned about butchering.

From the late 1930s to 1968, he was an owner of the G&W Market at Monroe and Collingwood Boulevard, which began as a partnership with Gus Wexler.

From 1968 to 1978, he was a partner in and later sole owner of Lee's Market on Auburn Avenue and Monroe.

Mr. Greenberg bowled for many years on a B'nai B'rith team. Until his early 90s, he attended the annual gatherings of the Raggedy Ass Cadets, the group formed by the children of immigrants who came from central and eastern Europe and settled in North Toledo.

Surviving are his wife, Helen, whom he married Feb. 18, 1934; sons, Robert and Joseph; five grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today in the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to Congregation Etz Chayim, of which he was a member; Hospice of Northwest Ohio, or the United Sydney Association, a children's charity in Rocky Hill, Conn.



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