After a difficult year of multiple hospitalizations, Richard Marks, 97, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 18, 2015, at his home. Richard was an honorable and kindhearted man with an unparalleled work ethic and a delightfully quick sense of humor. He had a keen interest in sports, history and politics, and he enjoyed engaging in conversation with people of all walks of life. He was often referred to as “the nicest guy” and “a real gentleman“.
Richard was born on April 27, 1918 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. At a young age he moved with his family to Falmouth on Cape Cod. He started working at a very young age and worked a variety of jobs throughout his youth while maintaining his grades, being active in boy scouts and playing sports – particularly high school football, at which he was named to the “All Cape Team” a number of times.
He served in the US army from 1939 to 1945, became a Staff Sergeant and earned the Good Conduct Medal. During his service he became good buddies with a fellow soldier named Charles Rice. Charles thereafter introduced Richard to his brand new wife, Ann Zubowski Rice. At that first encounter, Ann informed Richard that she had a girl for him – her younger sister, Mary Zubowski. Richard saw a picture of the gorgeous Mary and Mary looked at a photo of the extremely handsome soldier- they corresponded, met in person, fell in love at first sight, and married on January 13, 1946. That blissful marriage continued for 44 years until Mary’s untimely death at age 65.
Richard and his brothers-in-law Jack Zubowski, Charles Rice and Ralph Cohen operated Jack’s Supermarkets for several years before merging and becoming partners with the Levy/Friedlander families in the Rice Food Market grocery store enterprise. Richard served as Executive VP of Operations for decades. He and his fellow workers had mutual admiration and respect for one another.
He was passionate and driven about keeping fit by lifting weights and jogging daily, even in his eighties. At the Presidents Health Club he won numerous trophies and awards in the Super Star Division and the annual fitness competitions, in all age divisions! He was saluted as member of the year many times.
Richard was dedicated to Judaism and the preservation of Israel. He was a life-long member of Congregation Beth Yeshurun, serving in various capacities on the Board of Directors and in the Men’s Club, and also supporting many of the Synagogue’s fund-raising efforts. He also supported many other charitable organizations.
Richard was predeceased by his cherished wife Mary; his parents Herman and Anna Kaplan Marks; his in-laws Joseph and Devorah Freedman Zubowski; his brothers George (Bernice) Marks and Harold (Mary) Marks; his sisters Sara (Abe) Braunstein and Gertrude (Leo) Triber; his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Ann and Charles Rice, Sonia Cohen, Jack Zubowski; his nephews Larry Rice and Steven Cohen; and his nieces Laura Rice and Sharon Rice.
He is survived by his children Sandra (Kenneth) Kopel, Ron Marks, Josette (Neil) Rosenstein; his beloved grandchildren Gregory (Suzy) Kopel, Andrew (Allyson) Kopel, Deborah (Myles) Rose, and triplets William, Hilary and Mary Rosenstein; his great-grandchildren Caroline, Grace, Katie, Zachary and Emily Kopel, and Lexie, Madison and Kendall Rose; also many dear nieces, nephews and cousins.
Very special people in his life include Gladys Schnurr, with whom he enjoyed a warm and loving relationship, and her wonderful daughters Gayle Schnurr and Elyssa Schnurr.
Many thanks to his health care providers for their dedication and compassion. The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the fabulous and extremely attentive caregivers: Francis Carson, Wanda Youngs, Brenda Grosett, Anita Lee, Robin Silver and Neosha Hall. The care and support given by CIMA Hopice is also appreciated.
Graveside services to be officiated by Rabbi Jack Segal will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, at 10:30 a.m., at the Beth Yeshurun Cemetery, 3500 block of Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77019 . On that same day at 6:00 p.m. there will be a minyan led by Rabbi Brian Strauss at Congregation Beth Yeshurun, 4525 Beechnut, Houston, Texas 77096.
Honorary pallbearers are Ralph Cohen, Joe Rice, Paul Zubowski, Gene Rozgonyi, Stuart Rosenthal, Ted Roggen, Abe Schnitzer, Alton Lipkin, Richard Farrias, and lunch group friends, Albert Stein, Raymond Hutner, Leon Mucasey, (and the departed) cousin Alfred Freedman, Joel Mandel, Irving Gordon, and Lester Rosen.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorial gifts be directed to Congregation Beth Yeshurun at bethyeshurun.org or the charity of your choice.