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Sheldon Berman


1941 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Sheldon Berman Obituary
Berman, Sheldon
Sheldon Martin "Shelly" Berman, a long time Ad Man In Columbus, New York and Phoenix, died March 26, 2018 in the arms of his wife and great love of his life, Judith Irwin Berman, after a long battle with cancer. He was 77. He was born January 16, 1941 in Mansfield, OH to Sam and Libby Berman. He graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1959 and began his career in advertising at The Ohio State University in Columbus where he studied journalism, public relations and advertising and served on the board of The Ohio State Lantern. He said that the impact on the community of editorials he wrote for The Lantern surprised him, showed the power of effective communication and promoted his interest in advertising. He created advertising for numerous campus area businesses before graduating in 1963. In 1963 he also married his first wife Barbara Gellis Berman who is the mother of his son and daughter, Marc and Marcia Berman. He began his professional career as a copywriter and advertising manager at the F. & R. Lazarus department store in Columbus and moved on to Downe Communications on Madison Avenue in New York, where he said he felt the excitement of a young marine in combat everyday. In 1969, Mr. Berman returned to Columbus where he formed an advertising agency, Shelly Berman Communicators (SBC Advertising). With his partners Ed Razek and Bill Wickham, they created marketing for leading Columbus businesses including The Limited, Banc One, Ohio National Bank, Bob Evans, Frigidaire, Continental, Pizzuti Real Estate, Big Lots and many more. They opened offices in Oakland, Phoenix and New Orleans and grew the firm into a nationally known force in advertising. Mr. Razek later described Berman saying: "Creative, Concise. Analytical. Pragmatic. A rare combination of business savvy and creative flair. The disciplines I learned from Shel guide me everyday," Mr. Berman was most proud of the talented employees they attracted and trained and the great success so many employees achieved. Mr. Berman sold SBC to Bill Wickham and in 1998 moved to Phoenix, AZ, where he established another ad agency, Xtreem Creative Inc. He said there was nothing in his career he enjoyed more than hiking in the Arizona hills as he composed TV commercials for Barbasol and Pure Silk Shave Cream. He served on the board of directors of Big Lots, Inc. He was preceded in death by his son Marc Berman in 1980. He is survived by his wife, Judith Irwin Berman of Phoenix, a former oncology nurse who became his full time personal oncology manager. Shortly before his death he credited her with managing a fierce war against his cancer and adding joyous years to his life. He is also survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Marcia and Jon Levy of Powell, Ohio; grandsons, Josh Levy and Alex Levy of Powell, Oh; and numerous friends and colleagues in Ohio and Arizona. He enjoyed doing things with and for his grandsons, investing, trading stocks, eating cheeseburgers, oysters, Irish seafood chowder and was a fan of Apple and The Ohio State Buckeyes. Shel's friends and colleagues may join his family on the afternoon of April 8, 2018 (1-3 p.m.) at Aubergine Private Dining Club, located just a few doors down from Spagio on Grandview Avenue. A brief service will be held around 1:30 p.m.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Mar. 29, 2018
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