TEMPERANCE — Budd Jaffee, a resourceful jewelry store founder who was a man of many skills, died of pneumonia Wednesday in Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania.
He was 88.
Mr. Jaffee of Temperance founded, owned, and operated Budd Jewelers on Summit Street in Point Place from its inception in 1956 until 2006, when he moved it to Lambertville to be closer to home, said Edythe Jaffee, his wife of 62 years.
He has since turned the business over to a son and a grandson.
Mr. Jaffee’s skills included watchmaking, cooking, photography, performing magic tricks, fixing appliances, and flying a plane, those who knew him said.
“He was the best of everything. He could do anything,” Mrs. Jaffee said.
“He was just a super husband and a super dad. Family was exceptionally important to him. That’s why we are so close. And creating his business was his lifetime dream.”
In 1994, he promoted a new store location in Point Place by offering total refunds to customers who made purchases between May 31 and June 19 if it rained at midday during that year’s Point Place Days community parade June 25.
It rained and he paid, to the tune of $13,500, although the loss was covered by a special insurance policy that cost him $475.
He served hors d’ouvres at a reception for his happy customers, whose purchases ran as high as a $3,500 engagement ring.
“Customers thought I was crazy to make such an offer because they thought we were taking the risk ourselves,” he recounted at the time.
“But we explained that we’d taken out weather insurance and that we wanted it to rain just as much as they did.”
A Toledo native, born January 12, 1925, Mr. Jaffee attended Sherman School and later Scott High School, from which he graduated in 1943.
He was drafted into the Navy and was a cook with the 43rd Battalion of the Seabees in the Pacific during World War II until his honorable discharge in 1946, his wife said. During that time he performed magic tricks to entertain troops and picked up photography.
After his military discharge, Mr. Jaffee returned to Toledo and attended the University of Toledo for two years, pursuing a law degree, but then abandoned legal studies in favor of learning to become a master watchmaker at the Kansas City School of Watchmaking.
He became a salesman at Leo Marks Jewelers in downtown Toledo before founding his own business in 1956, Mrs. Jaffee said.
He met Edythe Frank in 1950 and they married late that year.
In his free time, Mr. Jaffee volunteered for area Boy Scouts from the later 1950s through the 1970s. He enjoyed baking, traveling, and building and fixing electronic appliances. For a time, he attended continuing education programs by the Toledo Area Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
He took flying lessons at the old Franklin Airport in West Toledo, getting his private pilot’s license in the 1970s.
Surviving are his wife, Edythe; sons, Alan, Tom, and Leonard; daughters, Debbie Saine and Sandy Stein; eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
The Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Visitation will be private. A service is at 1 p.m. today at Beth Shalom Cemetery, Oregon.
The family suggests tributes to Congregation Etz Chayim or to a charity of the donor’s choice.