Obituaries for Feb. 22, 2018


Mendel Rozmaryn, 97, ‘had 9 lives’

Mendel Rozmaryn, a Holocaust survivor and businessman, who after moving to the Kemp Mill area of Silver Spring at the age of 90 invited neighbors to study Talmud at his home, died Feb. 13. He was 97.

Rozymaryn was born Dec. 23, 1920, in Sosnovice, Poland. He survived seven labor camps during the Holocaust as well as a brain tumor at 90. And through it all, he maintained what his son Jack called a sarcastic sense of humor.

It wasn’t pure luck that allowed his father to escape death so many times, though, Jack Rozmaryn said.

“He had to be resourceful,” he said. “There were so many times he was supposed to be killed or shot, and either by miracle or by wit he was able to survive.”

In the early years of the German occupation of his hometown, Rozmaryn put his resourcefulness to use when he opened a battery factory and used it to bargain with the Nazis for not only his life but the lives of a number of fellow Jews. Jack Rozmaryn said that his father recalled a lecture he’d seen on battery production and wrote to the lecturer, who helped him set up the assembly line.

“He told them, ‘I’ve been manufacturing batteries and I see you need batteries for flashlights, radios, telegraph machines, et cetera,’” Jack said. “All I ask is that you feed us and keep us secure.”

In the process, Rozmaryn helped to save a number of his neighbors from being sent to death camps. One was a 14-year-old girl who had lost an arm in a German bombing. Years later, Rozmaryn learned that she’d become an opera singer in Canada, and he went to see her perform, Jack Rozmaryn said.

Eventually, though, Rozmaryn was moved among a series of labor camps throughout the war, which wouldn’t end without one more close call when he narrowly escaped the Celle Massacre in 1945 to finally be liberated by British troops at Bergen-Belsen.

It was there that he discovered that his family had survived the Holocaust as well.

Rozmaryn met his wife, Tania, and they had their first son, Jack, in Germany in 1949. They immigrated to New York in 1950. Jack Rozmaryn said that the same resourcefulness this father used to make it through the war also made him an astute businessman, despite the lack of a secular education.

Rozmaryn built an export-import business. He and his wife divorced in 1977, prompting Rozmaryn to move to California. He would ultimately return to the East Coast at the age of 90, moving to Kemp Mill with his second wife, Sonia. She died in 2012.

Jack Rozmaryn said his father quickly became known in the neighborhood through his ebullient personality, and he regularly had neighbors over to study Talmud with him. In December, Rozmaryn’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren — all of whom live nearby — gathered to celebrate his 97th birthday. Jack Rozmaryn said his father gave everyone a blessing.
Rozmaryn is survived by his two sons, Jack and Leo, of Kemp Mill, as well as seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

“We thought, this man’s going to live forever,” Jack Rozmaryn said. “He has nine lives.”


Marty Allen, wild-haired comedian, dies at 95

Marty Allen, the veteran comedian who was part of the popular Allen and Rossi duo and was known for his catchphrase “Hello dere,” has died.

Allen died Feb. 12 in Las Vegas from complications of pneumonia at the age of 95. He is survived by his wife and performing partner of the last 30 years, Karon Kate Blackwell, who was with him when he died, his spokeswoman told The Associated Press.

His comedy career took off in the late 1950s and ’60s when he performed with Steve Rossi. The team appeared 44 times on

“The Ed Sullivan Show,” including on the show with the second appearance by the Beatles on Feb. 16, 1964. They also appeared on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” and “The Merv Griffin Show.” After parting in 1968, Allen and Rossi reunited for shows into the 1990s.

Allen made hundreds of television appearances, including in a dramatic role on the series “The Big Valley.” He also was a regular on “The Hollywood Squares” and made guest appearances on numerous game shows.

Allen “relied on his physical appearance to help the comedy,” wrote Lawrence J. Epstein in his book “The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America.” “Allen’s wild mane of hair, his squinting eyes, and his sad voice nasally delivering his trademark introduction ‘Hello dere’ all were part of his act.”

He and his wife performed comedy routines in Las Vegas and in other venues throughout the country until at least 2016.
Allen was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He served in Italy in the Army Air Corps during World War II, earning a Soldier’s Medal for bravery. He was predeceased by his first wife, Lorraine “Frenchy” Allen.

—JTA News and Features

Robert Dubinsky
Robert Dubinsky, of Rockville, died Feb. 15. He was 86.

He received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from New York University and a master of business administration degree from American University. He served in the Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and then worked at the David Taylor Model Basin in Cabin John, a test facility for ship design. He then worked at Computer Sciences Corporation until retiring in 1996, and subsequently moved to Florida. Dubinsky moved to Rockville in 2015.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Claire Dubinsky. He is survived by his brother, Carl Dubinsky of Gilbert, Ariz.; children Debra Moser (Mitch Berliner) of Potomac, Diane (Mark) Novick of Oak Hill, Va., and Bruce (Lori) Dubinsky of Rockville. He is also survived by grandchildren Gregg Moser (Sarita Wahba) of Washington, Adam (Yana) Moser of Santa Monica, Calif., Steven (Ariel) Novick of Seattle, Daniel Novick (Sarah Krinsky) of New York City, Matt (Kaylon) Dubinsky of Washington and Brian Dubinsky of Rockville.

Linda Zell Randall
Linda Zell Randall, of Naples, Fla., died Feb. 18. She was 55.

She grew up in Washington and then Bethesda. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University. She received her law degree at the University of Miami School of Law in 1987.

Randall sang with the Naples Philharmonic Chorus and Chamber Choir and was a “Jeopardy!” champion in 2007.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 22 years, Neil Warren Randall, and her father, Samuel R. Zell. She is survived by her mother, Sarita Zell, of Delray Beach, Fla.; brothers Lawrence Marc (Robin) Zell of Israel, Brian Kirk (Vicki) Zell of Cherry Hill, N.J., and Wayne M. (Lorri) Zell of Reston; and children, Todd, Jason and Glenn Randall, all of Naples, Fla.

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