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  • "May the tender mercies of God and His everlasting strength..."
    - RM
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ROMANOFF--Maya, It is with great sadness that the Maya Romanoff Corporation announces the loss of Founder and Chief Creative Officer Maya Romanoff. Maya, 72, died peacefully at his suburban Chicago home on January 15. His wife and business partner, Joyce, was at his side, along with his loving family. Maya, born Richard Romanoff in 1941, was an original, from the name he used in the 1970s-- Multifarious Maya--to the company he built. His firm produces handcrafted wallpaper in the tradition of British designer William Morris, often incorporating tactile materials like glass beads and seashells. The work is created by artisans at a studio factory in Skokie, Illinois, and at mills around the world. Flagship showrooms are in New York and Chicago. Maya was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 49, but never stopped pushing his company to grow. Joyce became president in 2002, and her children and his niece have assumed leadership roles. This month, a biography about Maya entitled "Multifarious: Maya Romanoff's Grand Canvas," was published by CityFiles Press. "The world is both ugly and beautiful, and art makes things more one or the other," Maya wrote. "I'm on the side of the angels." Now at rest, he truly is. Survived by brother Robert (Heddie), stepdaughters Andrea Berkowitz (David) and Jennifer Block (Peter), stepson Michael Gutwaks (Mandy) and six grandchildren. Donations to Rehabilitation Inst. of Chicago, 345 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611.

Published in The New York Times on Jan. 26, 2014