Philip Treuhaft, a local department store owner and Army veteran, died on Thursday at the Edgewood Manor Nursing Center in Port Clinton. He was 91.
Mr. Treuhaft had lived in the nursing center since January, when he suffered a stroke and lost the ability to walk, said Nancy Hagens, his longtime partner.
“I went every day at 3 o’clock and ate dinner at the table with him,” Ms. Hagens said. “I’d stay until 8:30 or 9, and help him get ready for bed.”
For most of his life, Mr. Treuhaft was a partner at the Walford Department Stores, a business founded by his older brothers.
For decades, he also ran two pet businesses, Pet Bazaar Inc. and Pet Dock. The family owned a dog, and Mr. Treuhaft allowed his daughter Gretchen Schmidt to take care of a tarantula and a canary, among other animals.
“He was fantastic at letting me try out pets,” Mrs. Schmidt said. “Most of them did not last very long, but it was an adventure.”
Mr. Treuhaft was born on January 8, 1926, in Toledo to Anna and Emanuel Treuhaft. As a child, he split his time between Ohio and Florida, travelling south every winter with his mother, who had a heart condition and was told to avoid cold weather.
After graduating from Scott High School, Mr. Treuhaft served in the Army during World War II, although he was never sent overseas to fight. He returned to Toledo to work at the Walford Stores, despite dreams of becoming an accountant. He started at the department store as a bagger and eventually rose to be part-owner.
At work, Mr. Treuhaft always treated his employees like family, Mrs. Schmidt said.
“He was a genuinely good-hearted person, and that was how he was a success in business,” she said. “He was out there on the floor, he would work in the warehouse. You would never know he was owner.”
Mr. Treuhaft was divorced twice before meeting Ms. Hagens in the 1990s when they both worked at the Port Clinton unit of the Salvation Army.
“I flirted with him for a couple of years, and then one day he came into the office and asked if I was available to have dinner with him,” Ms. Hagens said.
Most recently, Mr. Treuhaft worked as a Realtor for NorthCoast Realty. He was also a member and former treasurer of Oheb Shalom Temple in Sandusky.
He stayed busy during his retirement, running a regular bingo game at a local nursing home and spending time with his grandchildren.
“He would sit on the floor and play toy soldiers with the kids,” Mrs. Schmidt said. “I think he was more interested than the kids were.”
Surviving are his partner, Ms. Hagens; daughters, Gretchen Schmidt and Patti Treuhaft; and 10 grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, July 17, at 10 a.m. at Groff Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1607 E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky. Burial will follow in the Oheb Shalom Cemetery.
Tributes should go to the Oheb Shalom or to Stein Hospice Services.
Contact David Yaffe-Bellany at: email@example.com, or 419-724-6050.
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