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Ruth BERMAN Obituary
BERMAN, Ruth passed away January 3, 2019 was born H. Ruth Greenbaum on December 10, 1926 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She apparently established her entrepreneurial skills in high school when she and a friend opened a candy store after moving to Coney Island as a young girl. Ruth's mother died when Ruth was 18 and she left school to take care of her brother and began work at a hat manufacturer. In 1950, she met Martin Berman, and they were married in New York. Shortly after their wedding, they moved, with Marty's brother Sidney, to Tucson to buy a plumbing supply store from Benjamin Anton. They kept its name, Benjamin Supply, and built the business together. Ruth and Marty ran the business, after Sidney retired, until Marty's untimely death from early onset Alzheimer's in 1986. At that point, Ruth and her son, Mark grew the business into the downtown icon it is today. They purchased the historic Tucson Warehouse and Transfer building and created one of the most extensive showrooms in the state. Ruth worked full time well into her late 80's. She was a leading figure in the business world of Tucson and certainly one of its most successful businesswoman. Ruth was active in the community, donating frequently and generously to local charities, including Habitat for Humanity, the Community Food Bank, St. Gregory's School, the Alzheimer's Association, Arizona Theater Company, and she was an ardent supporter of the local arts community. She was a long term and dedicated member of Congregation Anshei Israel. Ruth was preceded in death by her sister, Thelma; her beloved husband, Marty, and her parents. She is survived by her brother, Marty Greenbaum (Eileen Mislove) of Brooklyn; her daughter, Joan Berman MD of Manhattan, and her children, Marlene (David Weinrab) and Noah Martin Edelstein, as well as her son, Mark (Judith Riley MD), and their daughter, Alexandra Martin Berman. In addition, she has nieces, nephews and their children, both in Tucson, and on the East Coast. She considered her employees at Benjamin's, many of whom have worked there for decades, members of her extended family. She cared for these employees and supported their educational goals, as well as their families. Ruth's legacy as a strong, independent businesswoman will live on through her children, grandchildren and her life's project, Benjamin Supply. The Funeral Service will be held at EVERGREEN MORTUARY on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation in her honor to the Community Food Bank.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2019
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