Abraham Shiffman, carrier

  • Abraham Shiffman
Abraham Shiffman (Baltimore Sun )
July 03, 2013|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Abraham Shiffman, a newspaper carrier for nearly half a century, died June 28 of complications from dementia at Manor Care Ruxton. He was 99.

The son of a synagogue caretaker and a homemaker, Abraham Shiffman was born in East Baltimore and raised on Wolfe Street. He attended city public schools until dropping out in the eighth grade to help support his family.

Mr. Shiffman was 10 when he began selling The Baltimore Sun, Evening Sun and Sunday Sun in the city's Pimlico neighborhood.

"He was at the busy corner of Park Heights and Belvedere avenues, a busy streetcar stop, and said people getting off from work late would stop and buy a paper on their way home," said Sue Markowitz, a niece who lives in Pikesville.

During World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the attack transport USS Harris in both the Atlantic and Pacific.

After the war, Mr. Shiffman returned to Baltimore and drove a taxi briefly before resuming his career as a Baltimore Sun route salesman, later becoming an independent carrier.

"He delivered papers to stores and businesses from Hampden to Loch Raven, and on weekends, which involved long hours and little sleep, he made The Sunday Sun reach readers," said Ms. Markowitz.

He retired in 1980 but continued delivering newspapers to Pimlico, Laurel and Timonium racetracks, until retiring completely in the early 1990s.

"Everyone knew Abe would bring lollipops for the children he might meet while working. He loved children," said Ms. Markowitz.

Mr. Shiffman did, however, work at a flea market well into his 90s, "where he took his wages in toys, videos, batteries and socks which he would give to children and good friends," his niece said.

The former Pikesville and Mount Washington resident was a lifelong bachelor.

Services were held Tuesday at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.

In addition to Ms. Markowitz, Mr. Shiffman is survived by many other nieces and nephews.


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