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Texas retailer Ruben Edelstein dies at 96

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Ruben H. Edelstein, 96, who had a decades-long career as a furniture retailer in Texas, died at his home here July 21.

After his graduation from the University of Texas in 1939, he worked at his family’s business, Edelstein’s Better Furniture, until 1941 when he entered the Army during World War II.

He was discharged as a captain in 1945 and came back to the business, which he headed after his father’s retirement, expanding the store count from six to 14 over the years. In 2006, Edelstein’s celebrated its 100 th anniversary with the giveaway of a new home, fully furnished.

In 2008, Famsa USA acquired the assets of 12 Edelstein’s stores, and Ruben Edelstein retired from the business. The last two family stores, Designer’s Showroom, run by his daughter, Julie Edelstein-Best, closed in June of this year.

Ruben Edelstein was a leader in the community. His motto was, “My father was a successful merchant and I believed that you don’t always take out, you’ve got to put back in.” He served in numerous civic organizations and was mayor of Brownsville from 1975 to 1979, establishing the City Health Clinic, the Brownsville Urban Bus System and the Emergency Medical Service. He was a generous donor to Jewish and Catholic causes.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Bernice Edelstein; two daughters, three grandchildren, a brother and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family has requested donations in his memory be made to Temple Beth El, Education Fund, 24 Coveway, Brownsville, Texas 78521; Rotary Club of Brownsville, P.O. Box 5110, Brownsville, Texas 78523; or The Brownsville Society for Crippled Children Inc., 1901 E. 22 nd St., Brownsville, Texas 78521.

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