Former Pittsburgh retailer Teplitz dies

PITTSBURGH — Retired furniture retailer Philip Teplitz died here Sunday. He was 87.

Teplitz’ lifelong passion was the furniture industry. His mother and father founded Finleyville Furniture in Finleyville, Pa., in 1929. By the age of 13, he was driving a delivery truck, helping to make deliveries after school. As a senior in high school, he would go to the store after school and sit in with his mother to learn how to buy furniture and appliances for the store.

After one year at the University of Pittsburgh, Teplitz dropped out and formally entered the family business, which he co-owned with his brother George until it closed in 1986.

The brothers also co-owned the Manor House Ethan Allen Galleries in Pittsburgh from 1965 until 1993 and the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in the area from 1985 until 2005. In 1960, Philip Teplitz married Iris, who joined him in the furniture business and was his true partner both at work and home until her passing in 2016.

He was president of the National Home Furnishings Assn. in 1991, and for more than 20 years, he was the retailer representative to the Upholstered Furniture Action Council, a voluntary furniture industry organization designed to make upholstered furniture more fire resistant.

Outside the industry, family recalls Teplitz always enjoyed a good book, a single malt scotch and a cigar.

Survivors include sons Lee, Jonathan and Paul Teplitz and grandchildren Alex and Charlotte Teplitz. His nephew, Edward Teplitz, is the chief commercial officer for Natuzzi Americas.

Services will be held Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. at Ralph Schugar Chapel, 5509 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15232, with visitation an hour before services. Interment will be at West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation on Perrysville Road in Pittsburgh. Memorials may be made to Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.

Furniture Today Staff | Staff Editors

Furniture Today covers all the news concerning manufacturers, retailers and suppliers in the home furnishings sector.

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