Friedman, Ernest "Ernie" age 81, of Edina, MN. Ernie Friedman, devoted Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend & Mentor passed away peacefully Friday June 7, 2013. Ernie was born in Ulm, Germany January 21, 1932. His parents were Claire and Walter Friedman of Ulm, Germany and New York City. He is preceded in death by his former wife Shirley & survived by his wife Joy , son Jeffrey Malin , Daughter Lisa Clayton of West Bloomfield, Michigan, and four grandsons. He is survived by his much loved cousin, Charley Oser of Hawaii. Ernie immigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1938 and resided in the NYC area. After graduation from New York University Ernie enlisted in the U.S Armed Force 1951 and served as a senior administrator and interpreter in Europe for much of his service. Ernie began his career at Macy's Dept. Store as a management trainee where he excelled in merchandise planning. He then continued his career in the 1950's in the mattress industry where he joined Englander Mattress as a salesman and rose to the executive ranks in various management positions within the company. His next venture was with the Serta mattress Company in the Detroit area where he served as Senior Sales Manager and successfully broadened Serta's retail presence in the state of Michigan. In the 1970's Friedman relocated to the Twin Cities area to re-unite with the Englander Mattress Company as a National VP Sales. The Company was merged with the King Koil Mattress Company in the late 70's and The Englander entity was dissolved. Ernie became President for the newly formed King Koil Licensing Company serving independent bedding manufacturers worldwide. Mr. Friedman not only strengthened and grew the domestic side of the business, but was a pioneer in engaging foreign mattress manufacturers in the use of the King Koil name, products and principals. Ernie visited 84 cities around the world in his promotion of King Koil. He opened factories in 26 countries to the opportunity of manufacturing King Koil mattresses. Mr. Friedman was the driving force behind the King Koil brand building initiative globally throughout the 1980's & 1990's, finally retiring in Minnesota with his wife Joy in 2001. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to Mt. Sinai Community Foundation, c/o Max Fallek, 8715 West Moreland Lane, Minneapolis, MN 55426. Funeral Service 2:00PM Wednesday June 12 at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408. www.Washburn-McReavy.com
Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.