Dr. Manfred Sklar, 70, optometrist, collector

November 28, 2003

Dr. Manfred Sklar, optometrist and collector, died Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital of complications from an infection of tissue surrounding his heart. The Baltimore resident was 70.

Dr. Sklar was born and raised in East Baltimore and graduated from City College in 1951. He attended the University of Maryland, College Park for three years before joining the Army and serving in Korea for 21 months, where he was acting chaplain.

In addition to his duties as chaplain, Dr. Sklar also organized seders and post-Sabbath repasts for Jewish soldiers, said his daughter, Judy Nabozny of Baltimore. He was discharged with the rank of private first class in 1956.

After he returned from overseas, he attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry, where he was president of the senior class and graduated in 1960.

He met his wife, the former Rosalie Grossblatt, when the two were teen-age students at the Baltimore Talmud Torah on Broadway, a Hebrew school in East Baltimore. They married in Baltimore in 1954 and had celebrated their 49th anniversary in August.

Dr. Sklar was active in local optometric groups, the Suburban Orthodox Congregation and the Randallstown Synagogue Center.

He was an avid gardener and collector of coins, stamps and Jewish art.

He also loved traveling. His daughter recalled how, although he traveled around the country and regularly to Israel, he was very fond of weekend day trips.

"Every Sunday we went somewhere," she said. "We used to pack up his parents, and we'd all go in our station wagon" to places such as Gettysburg, Pa., Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and Greenbrier State Park.

He was a devoted father and husband, Mrs. Nabozny said, remembering how he enjoyed playing with his grandchildren. "He loved to hold the babies on his lap and sing to them," she said.

Services were held Wednesday at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville. Dr. Sklar's body was flown to Israel for burial.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Dr. Sklar is survived by a son, Rabbi Alan Sklar of Israel; a daughter, Barbie Kadin of Baltimore; and 15 grandchildren.

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