Robert Mars Furniture executive

November 02, 1990

Graveside services for Robert Mars, whose furniture business had branches in Baltimore and Ocean City, will be held at noon today at the B'nai Israel Congregation Cemetery in Oxon Hill.

Mr. Mars, who was 87, died Wednesday at his home in Bethesda after a stroke.

He retired in 1980 as owner of the R. Mars Co., which he founded in Washington in 1934. The company, which sold furniture at a discount to members of labor unions and other organizations and to hotels and other institutions, had branches in several East Coast cities and, at one time, in Havana.

In the 1950s, the company had a subsidiary, M & M Leasing, that rented furniture in Baltimore and Washington. R. Mars has since closed.

Mr. Mars was born in New York City and graduated from Columbia University. He moved to the Washington area in 1925 and worked for the Hecht Co. before starting his business.

During the 1940s and 1950s he was treasurer of the Democratic Central Committee in Washington, and during two presidential campaigns he was national chairman of Business Men for Adlai Stevenson.

Mr. Mars also was on the board of CARE, the District of Columbia advisory council of the Small Business Administration, and belonged to the Washington Urban League.

He was a member of the Washington Hebrew Congregation and the Woodmont Country Club.

Mr. Mars is survived by his wife, the former Edith Kirstein; two daughters, Pamela Malester of Baltimore and Patricia Guss of Gaithersburg; a sister, Hilda Weiss of Highland Beach, Fla.; and two grandchildren.

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