Milton Klein, 93

Olive oil firm owner

August 09, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Milton Klein, a retired businessman and former owner of Pompeian Inc., the Baltimore olive oil company, died Wednesday of heart failure at his Pikesville condominium. He was 93.

Mr. Klein was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y. He attended City College of New York.

In the 1930s, Mr. Klein moved to Baltimore, where he joined his father selling food products and later expanded to include the importation of olives and Milrose fruit juices.

The business became known as Round the Clock Fruit Juice Drinks, and after father and son established partnerships with farming interests in New York and Michigan, they became food brokers.

FOR THE RECORD - An obituary published for Milton Klein in Saturday's editions of The Sun misstated his role with Pompeian Inc., the Baltimore olive oil company. He was president of the company and not an owner.
The Sun regrets the error.

In 1975, Mr. Klein purchased Pompeian Inc.. The company had been founded in 1906 by Musher Bros. & Co., and had been owned since the 1930s by Hoffberger-National.

Mr. Klein served as president of the company until 1988, when he established Lupi Inc., a Baltimore-based olive oil importer. He closed the business in 1998.

"Business kept him busy until his 90th year, when his sight failed and his body began to wear down," said Michael Brophy, his son-in-law.

Mr. Klein was an avid Orioles fan.

"But he never forgot his New York roots," Mr. Brophy said. "The smell of a grilled Nathan's hot dog brought back all those wonderful memories."

His son-in-law said that Mr. Klein also never lost his sense of humor.

"Ask him, 'Milton, how are you doing?' and his answer was always the same. 'I'm still here, and that's a good thing.'"

He was a member of Beth El Congregation.

He was married in 1939 to the former Minnie Kesler, who died in 1976. His wife of 29 years, the former H. Dorothy Coffman, died in 2006.

Services were yesterday.

Also surviving are two sons, Ray J. Klein and Marc N. Klein, both of Baltimore; a daughter, Eileen A. Brophy of Sarasota, Fla.; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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