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Published: Wednesday, 5/7/2008

Sacks Furniture president helped anyone in need

MONROE - Theodore N. Sacks, 92, president and owner of a furniture store founded the year he was born by his father, died Sunday in his home here of congestive heart failure.

Because of his health, he was last active in Sacks Furniture Co. and the Warehouse Sleep Shop, which he also owned, about two years ago. He had not retired.

"He was a hard worker his whole life," his son Harris, manager of Sacks Furniture, said. "He loved people. That's one of the things he loved about the business. He was always trying to help people.

"I learned a tremendous amount from him. If I could be half the man my dad was, I would be quite successful."

Mr. Sacks was an infant when the family moved from New York City to Monroe. That year, his father, Harris, founded Sacks Furniture.

Mr. Sacks was a 1934 graduate of Monroe High School. He bought the business in 1940. He served stateside in the Army during World War II, and, because of his interest in amateur radio, he was an instructor in radio mechanics after graduation from St. Louis University.

His wife, Rebecca, ran the business while he was away.

In the 1950s and '60s, he and a longtime friend, Melvin Hamerman, owned Gold-Bond Furniture, which had stores in Defiance, Fostoria, and Tiffin, and in Jackson, Mich.

Mr. Sacks was a Salvation Army board member.

He was a member of Congregation B'nai Israel in Toledo for more than 60 years.

More than 50 years ago, he and others in Monroe's small Jewish community founded Temple B'nai Israel, and he was the first president.

He was a leader, not a follower, his son said. He was particular as a businessman.

"But he was kindhearted. He helped not only friends and relatives, but he would help anybody in need," his son said.

Surviving are his wife, Rebecca, whom he married March 10, 1940; daughter, Merrylen Sacks; sons, Harris, Jonathan, Franklin, and J.B. Sacks; sister, Celia Sacks; 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home, Toledo. After burial at Eagle Point Cemetery in Rossford, family and friends will gather at Temple B'nai Israel in Monroe. The family will receive visitors through Tuesday evening at the family home in Monroe.

The family suggests tributes to Temple B'nai Israel, in care of Jack Katz in Monroe.

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