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Longtime Rowe Furniture leader Gerald Birnbach dies at 82

 Image of Gerry BirnbachGerry Birnbach

WASHINGTON — Gerald M. Birnbach, retired chairman of manufacturer Rowe Furniture, died Sunday. He was 82.

Birnbach joined Rowe as a sales representative in the early 1950s, and was chosen by the founding Rowe family to lead the company in 1974. He remained at the helm until his retirement in 2007, when Rowe was sold to Sun Capital.

Under Birnbach's leadership, Rowe became a leading upholstery producer and operator of a large network of retail stores.

His son, Bruce Birnbach, is president of leather upholstery producer American Leather, while his brother, Barry, is an executive with case goods resource Folio 21.

Services will be at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St., NW, in Washington. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the charity of one's choice.

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