Martin Daniel Pressman

Martin Daniel Pressman, 93, passed away June 6 in Milford from complications from lung disease. He had a modest upbringing and later transformed into a self-made businessman whose provocative wit and charm dazzled his family and a small generation of blushing waitresses and nurses.

Born to an immigrant family, Mr. Pressman, who went by Marty, took up apprentice work at the age of 16 at a butcher shop on Kessington Avenue in Philadelphia. At 18, he entered the U.S. Army's radar unit and served three years across Europe during WWII. He often shared two profound yet contradictory war experiences: kisses courtesy of liberated French women and witnessing stockpiles of corpses at concentration camps in Germany.

After working various jobs, he co-founded Orson's Meats, a retail and wholesale meat business in Glen Burnie, Md., where he was a hard-charging owner nicknamed "The Chief." Despite his tough exterior behind the counter, he was a benefactor to many employees, charities and family. After 54 years in the meat business, he retired in 1993 and later moved to Milford, which he called "paradise."

His humor was outlandish and at times uncomfortably direct and bold, yet fantastically simple. Months before his death, Marty had a dream about dying. What happened exactly? He answered: "What happens? You die!"

After retirement, his demeanor softened significantly and he cared for his mother-in-law and son-in-law through illnesses. Marty was an avid fan of the NBA (he struggled to remember names of players, but he knew everyone's shooting percentage), politics and news, and of course meat with gravy (just don't serve him white meat). In his final years, he joked about opening a deli in heaven and watching "the pearly gates" basketball team before conceding that he might end up cheering for a team further south.

Marty is survived by his devoted wife of 49 years, Mary Ann Pressman (Sinlock); children, Lynne P. Ellick, Alan Pressman, Jason Matthew Pressman and his wife, Jessica Pressman; grandchildren, Joy Dara Ellick and her husband, Corey Fraiberg, Alison Fruman, Adam Ellick, Eric Pressman, and Jack Martin Pressman; sibling-in-laws, Irene Garrett, Bob and Barbara Sullivan, Charles and Bonnie Sinlock; great-grandchildren, Rebecca and Sarah Fruman, Jordan Hoffman, and Evan and Sydney Fraiberg. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rose and Jack Pressman; brother, Albert Pressman; son, Neil Nameroff; mother-in-law, Sue Sinlock; and son-in-law, Eugene Ellick.

Funeral services were private. Shiva was observed, 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at the Ellick family home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963.

Published in Milford Beacon from June 27 to July 6, 2017