Saul A. Mintz
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Saul A. Mintz was born October 26, 1931 in New Orleans, LA and died September 15, 2012 in Monroe, LA at the age of 80.
There have been many adjectives used to describe Saul Mintz, but his essence can be summed up in the Yiddish word "Mensch", which literally translates as "Human Being". Simply, a mensch is a person who is upstanding, worthy and honorable. Saul represented all of these qualities and many more.
An architect by training, Saul loved to create. He used his skills to design and build things that brought him joy and that he thought would make the world a better place for others. He constructed structures of brick and mortar, but he found it most fulfilling when using his time, energy and creative mind to build bridges between people and ideas to enhance the development of community, organizations and family. He created with purpose and his aim was "build to last". Those he touched along the way often were changed-- remodeled, stronger and better for having known and been involved with him.
Saul spoke with awe about his parents. His father, who in 1920 at the age of 26 immigrated to New Orleans from Russia before his untimely death at the age of 52, founded Hurwitz-Mintz Furniture Co. His mother, the grounding force of the family, also immigrated to New Orleans from Russia in 1921 at the age of 17. Growing up with his three elder siblings in New Orleans, Saul learned the importance of family and the value of life-long friendships. At a young age Saul recognized his good fortune to have been raised and educated in this land of magnificent opportunity. From his parents' example he learned that rewards would come through hard work combined with thoughtful planning and a little good luck. Saul also knew that it was his responsibility to give back to his community, to help make the world a better place and to contribute what he could to assure that this country would continue to be a land of opportunity for others.
Saul graduated from Isidore Newman School in New Orleans and then entered the Tulane School of Architecture. After graduation, he married his beloved college sweetheart, Jean Strauss of Monroe. He served as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force then returned to New Orleans to begin work as an architect. In 1955 Saul was asked by his father-in-law, Clifford Strauss, to join his business, F. Strauss & Son, Inc. -- a wholesale distributor of grocery products and alcoholic beverages. He and his family relocated to Monroe where he eventually became the company's Chairman and CEO. During Saul's business career he developed a number of properties in Monroe and the surrounding area. Most prominent among them are Northgate, Eastgate and Twin City Plaza shopping centers. In 1979 Saul co-founded Sunbelt Manufacturing, Inc, a manufacturer of plastic products that is now a division of Berry Plastics. He was also proud to serve for many years as a Director of Central Bank and subsequently First Commerce Corp, New Orleans.
Saul immediately fell in love with Monroe for its beauty, warm people and quality of life and quickly became involved in numerous civic organizations and endeavors. Among these, he served as Chairman of Monroe Chamber of Commerce; Carolyn Rose Rehabilitation Center; Sunbelt Manufacturing, Inc. and St Francis Medical Center. He also served as President of: The United Way of Northeast Louisiana; ULM Booster Club; and ULM Foundation. He served as a Board Member of: LSU Health Sciences-S; Tulane President's Council; Tulane School of Architecture; LA Committee for Humanities; American Red Cross; and Twin Cities YMCA. Saul was also instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Carolyn Rose Strauss Senior Center-- home to the Ouachita Council on Aging, The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, the Strauss Theatre Center and many other organizations and projects.
Saul's Jewish faith was an important component in his life. As a member and past Vice President of Temple B'Nai Israel, Saul worked with others to establish its endowment fund. He and Jean together served on the founding boards of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of New Orleans, The Institute of Southern Jewish Life, and the Southern Institute for Education and Research, which is dedicated to improving ethnic relations through tolerance education and communications training. In more recent years Saul joined the board of directors of the Jewish Outreach Institute based in New York and, together with Jean, he was instrumental in the funding and building of Tulane Hillel's Goldie and Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life.
Saul never approached his undertakings with the expectation or desire for accolades. Yet over the years he was the recipient of numerous honors including: the Monroe Chamber's Rambin-Silverstein "Citizen of the Year" Award; the United Way's Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award; the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society; the Jewish Endowment Foundation's Tzedakah Award; the Tulane Emeritus Club's Outstanding Alumnus Award; and the ADL Torch of Liberty Award.
Saul is preceded in death by his parents, Goldie Goldblum Mintz and Morris Mintz, his brother Ellis Mintz, his sister Bella Mintz Goldberg and his beloved in-laws, Roselyn and Clifford Strauss.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jean Strauss Mintz; brother Albert Mintz and wife, Linda of New Orleans; sisters-in-law, Elaine Levy Mintz of New Orleans and Peggy Strauss Greenbaum and husband, Jim Greenbaum of Rancho Mirage, CA; children, Morris Mintz and wife, Melinda, Carolyn Kaplan and husband, Jay of Houston, TX and Sally Mann and husband, Anthony of Greenwich, CT; and his grandchildren; Mark Mintz and wife, Jennifer, Clifford and Sarah Mintz, Glynn, Layne and Jack Kaplan, Alexandra, Isabelle, Strauss and Georgia Mann; great granddaughter, Lillian Mintz; and a score of adored nieces and nephews.
The family would like to acknowledge Leo Moy, Dorothy Nation, Cora Cosby and Saul's entire Strauss Interests family. These were people very special to Saul as they surrounded and supported his daily home and work life. In addition, the family is grateful to the numerous individuals and medical professionals who gave such wonderful care to Saul during his final months, especially Drs. Herschel Harter, Bernie McHugh, Rolf Morstead, Mark Napoli and Frank Weinholt. The family also offers special thanks to Chester King and Gwynn Williams for their invaluable, personal devotion to Saul's care, healing and comfort.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to Temple B'Nai Israel Endowment Fund, Ouachita Council on Aging, Food Bank of Northeast LA, Strauss Theater Center, Tulane Hillel or a
Visitation will be held from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM, Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Monroe.
A memorial service will be held honoring Saul's life at 2:00 PM, Thursday, September 20, 2012 at Temple B'nai Israel, 2400 Orell Pl. Monroe, LA.
Of all Saul's creations, the one of which he was most proud was his family. As he learned from his parents, he taught his own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews by example. This is his legacy and he created it with purpose, and he "built it to last".
Online condolence messages may be sent to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com
Kilpatrick Funeral Home
Published in The News Star from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20, 2012