Arthur L. Berg, 76, operated grocery stores

November 12, 2001|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Arthur L. Berg, a World War II refugee who owned and operated food stores in Baltimore, died Saturday of lymphoma at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was five days shy of his 77th birthday.

His best-known store was Andy's & Frank's, a Timonium grocery that he bought in 1970 with his wife, Sylvia, and operated until his retirement in 1986.

The store specialized in custom-cut meats and personal service, with Mr. Berg selecting produce at the wholesale market in Jessup before dawn. Local sports figures and celebrities were among the store's clientele.

"The reason we were successful was that we catered to people, whatever they wanted we had for them," said Mrs. Berg. In the late 1950s, the Bergs owned a small grocery in Hamilton, and another in the 1960s in Overlea.

Mr. Berg was born in Tomaszow-Lubelski, Poland, the only child of Leon and Rose Bergerbaum. His high school education ended abruptly when Hitler's armies invaded in 1939. His father was killed in Belzec, a Nazi death camp. Mr. Berg and his mother were sent by the Soviets to a labor camp in Siberia.

In the labor camp, he met Sylvia Hochman, who came from the same town he did.

After liberation from the camp in 1945, he, his mother and Miss Hochman went to a transit camp in Austria. He worked for the American Joint Distribution Committee, the refugee assistance organization. He married Sylvia Hochman in 1946, and came to the United States with his bride and mother in 1950, soon settling in Baltimore.

He was a member of Beth Tfiloh Congregation.

Mr. Berg enjoyed traveling to Israel. He recently visited Poland and brought back ashes from the death camp where his father died, to be buried with him.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.

In addition to his wife of 54 years, he is survived by a son, Leon Berg of Cockeysville; and a granddaughter.

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