Sam Soifer (1944 - 2012)

Obituary
5 entries
  • "Last couple of years, Sam came by the house whenever he..."
    - Ron Soifer
  • "So sorry for your loss. I hadn't been around him many..."
    - Donna Podrasky
  • "Sam will be a great loss to the synagogue. He was a leader..."
    - Andrea Tatkon-Coker
  • "Sam will be very missed. I loved your father! He helped..."
    - Ruth Newman
  • "Soifer family - you are in our thoughts and prayers during..."
    - Sarah Nelson
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CHARLES CITY – Sam Soifer, 68, of Charles City, died Saturday, March 31, 2012, at his home surrounded by his family.
Funeral services for Sam Soifer will be held 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Charles City Middle School auditorium. Michael Libbie and Jerry Springston will officiate. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery at Charles City.
Friends may call at the Hauser Funeral Home from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Sam was born Sasha Lifshitz to Chaim and Regina Lifshitz on February 27, 1944 in Russia, after his parents had fled Nazi occupied Poland. Before his birth, his father Chaim was arrested and sent to Siberia for being anti-communist. In 1949 Sasha and his mother Regina immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island where 'Sasha' became 'Sam'. He lived briefly in Brooklyn until age 7 when Sam and his mother moved in with family in Omaha, Carl and Rachel Rosenberg. Carl and Rachel were like 2nd parents to Sam as a young boy in a new country. In 1953 his mother was married to Joseph Soifer and Sam moved to Chicago. In 1958 Sam discovered his father was alive and living in Israel, in 1975 he first met his father and sister Rachel and was able to build a relationship with them.
Sam graduated from Lane Tech High School in Chicago and later received a degree in business from the University of Illinois in Chicago. On June 14, 1965 Sam married Terrie Altschul in Chicago. To this union two children were born, Stuart and Alissa. They later divorced. On October 16, 1971, Sam married Barbara Wicklund in Chicago. Sam and Barb would have three children; Scott, Shawn and Regina. Sam started working as a 'grillman' for McDonalds at age 14 in Chicago. He later moved into management and for a short time opened his own deli in downtown Chicago, So-far's Deli. Sam and Barb's dream came true however when in 1978 Sam returned to McDonald's and they opened their first restaurant in Charles City, Iowa. Over the years working as business partners, Sam and Barb grew their business by opening additional McDonald's Restaurants in Waverly, Iowa Falls, Oelwein, Independence, New Hampton, Hampton and Center Point, Iowa. After Barb's death in 2006, Sam's son Scott joined him as his business partner. In addition to his children and grandchildren, Sam's passion was McDonalds, serving on many regional and national committees. Sam served as the chairman of the Regional Leadership Council of McDonald's operators and on the executive committee of OPNAD, the national advertising organization of McDonalds. Sam also served on countless other national committees for McDonald's Corporation. Sam was a two time recipient of the Ronald Award for outstanding community service, received the Paul Schrage Lifetime Achievement Award for marketing and in 2003 the Golden Arch Award, the highest award given to a franchisee in the McDonald's system. Sam was very involved in the Charles City community and throughout the state of Iowa. Sam served as President of the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City and was also involved with the Ronald McDonald Houses in Rochester, MN and Des Moines. Sam served as President of Adas Israel Synagogue in Mason City for many, many years. Sam was also a member of Rotary International since 1978, having served as President of the Charles City Rotary Club and eventually Governor of District 5970 from 1999-2000, encompassing much of the state of Iowa. Sam was also very involved with different groups over the years including the Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Community Revitalization/ Main Street Iowa, the YMCA board of directors, United Way board and Drive President, the Stony Point Players and the Charles City School Board. Sam's true pride and joy, especially in recent years, was his children and grandchildren. He also had a passion for biblical history and politics, and loved a friendly and respectful debate with friends. He also discovered a love of travel and adventure with his special friend June Gansen in recent years.
Sam is survived by his children, Stuart (Karen) Soifer of Cresthill, Ill; Alissa Crespo of Plainfield, Ill; Scott Soifer of Charles City; Shawn (Lacey) Soifer of Charles City; and Regina Soifer of Los Angeles, Calif.; 8 grandchildren; a sister Rachel Lifshitz of Haifa, Israel; Rachel Rosenberg of Omaha, Nebr.; his special friend June Gansen and her children Jackie Vogelgesang and Joe Gansen, all of Mason City; and many, many friends and colleagues.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father and stepfather; and his wife Barbara Soifer on February 1, 2006.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester Minnesota, 850 Second Street SW, Rochester, MN 55902.
The Hauser Funeral Home, in Charles City, 641-228-2323, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hauserfh.com.
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Apr. 4 to Apr. 21, 2012
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