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Robert Pierce Michelman


1939 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert Pierce Michelman Obituary
March 25, 1939 - March 3, 2017 Bob Michelman, an icon in the retail industry, passed away unexpectedly March 3, 2017 at his house in Rancho Mirage, CA, age 77. He suffered from interstitial lung disease. Born in Brooklyn, NY he was raised by Ida Mae (Smith), his mother, and sister Sheila. He started his career at Allied Stores in NY as a "followup" clerk and became the youngest person to be promoted to buyer. Later he worked at Gimbels Philadelphia, before moving in 1967 to LA to work for May Company. Starting as a buyer in the "basement store", he was promoted to "upstairs" to Divisional Merchandise Manager of Mens/Boys in 1975, rising in 1978 to become SVP/General Merchandise Manager of Mens, Young Mens, & Children's and a senior member of the company until his retirement in 2001. Among many accomplishments, Bob, as a buyer was credited with changing the dress shirt industry and as a GMM, with being a front runner and visionary in the Young Men's business. He was a mentor and unofficial big brother to his counterparts across the country at May Department Stores. To quote business associates and employees, "Michelman set the standard for excellence; he was a cut above. His intelligence, intuition, and dedication to doing things right was unparalleled." "He raised the bar among retailers." "Bob was truly the most honest and ethical person I've ever known." "Mr. Michelman had a maverick countenance, deep warm voice, and special brand of wry humor." While a tennis player for years, he was passionate about golf, driving as many weekends as possible to the desert to play, getting his wife, Terry, of 20 years to learn and enjoy as well. Their years together revolved around work, Laker games, the theater & Hollywood Bowl, and big family holiday dinners and BBQ's. Bob loved to travel for pleasure with friends and as a retiree became master of award points, with frequent trips to Africa, Europe, and Hawaii. He also became an avid cook experimenting on his wife who was still working. He is survived by his wife, Terry Herkner-Michelman, daughters Mindy Aiello and Barrie Winter, grandchildren Stephanie, Jordan, and Leah, son-in-laws Ratzi and Bill, sister Donna Avery, and niece Robin Christian. A Celebration of Life BBQ will take place March 16 at 4:00 at their home in Toluca Lake, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed for Arthritis National Research foundation @ cure arthritis.org and to The Cat House on the Kings @ cathouseonthekings.com.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 12, 2017
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