In remembrance of
Howard UfbergScranton, PA August 23, 1946 ~ July 11, 2011 Date of Service: July 13, 2011
Howard Ufberg, 12 Pen-Y-Bryn Drive, Scranton died Monday at Regional Hospital of Scranton. He is survived by his wife, Marcia (nee Rosenstein), their six children, Hannah and her husband Jonathan; Paul and his wife Jordanna; Jonah and his wife Heather; Miriam and her husband Brian; Naomi and Dina; and eight beautiful grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers Murray and Bobby, lifetime friend and business partner Sam Starr, as well as myriad cousins, nephews, nieces and friends.
Howard’s most outstanding characteristic was his boundless generosity, and nothing brought him more joy than giving people the opportunity to help themselves. He quietly, but powerfully, embodied the highest form of charity: anonymously giving so that less fortunate ones might go to summer camp, attend college, or furnish their houses – a lesson he learned from watching his parents, the late Al & Leah Ufberg, and something his children learned from watching him.
He was well-known as a businessman in Scranton since 1971 when, as a 24 year old, he became the owner of the new Ufberg’s HOME furniture on Lackawanna Ave., an 8 story, 40,000 square foot furniture store. Howard set a blazing pace and within a few short years was widely regarded as a major force in the furniture industry. His customers were lifelong – they knew him and loved him for his honesty, integrity, reliability, and his old fashioned desire to “give them a buy.” Howard was sorely disappointed when the City of Scranton, in conjunction with private investors and other governmental entities, “ took” his beloved furniture store in 1991 under eminent domain. Against all odds, he met the challenge with tact and dignity. He lived and embodied the experience of the Main Street Merchant vs. Big Business and with the help and support of his family and closest friends ultimately prevailed.
In recent years, tapping into the success he and Sam Starr built in Starr Uniform, Howard blazed the trail for the school uniform program in the Northeast with Starr School Uniforms. His main interest in that endeavor was that no child would be left without. Both businesses will continue with the team of employees who Howard treated as family, always.
Howard was born in Shenandoah PA and moved to Scranton in 1971. He served Beth Shalom Congregation as honored President, dutiful congregant, and in any and every capacity needed through the years. He also served on various charitable and community boards including the Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency, the Scranton Hebrew Day School, Israeli Bond Development, and participated in Big Brothers and Sister Program and Meals on Wheels. Still his preference, by far, was to refrain from board duties and instead to devote his time, energies, and resources behind the scene. He was a staunch Zionist who garnered an immense amount of pride from his family’s involvement in the State of Israel from its inception to the present. This was his vacation spot of choice.
The funeral will be today at 11 a.m. in the Beth Shalom Congregation, Clay Ave. and Vine St., with services by Rabbi Yisroel Brotsky. The family will receive friends from 10:15 a.m. until the time of service. Interment Temple Israel Cemetery, Dunmore. Shiva will be observed at the family residence, 12 Pen-Y-Bryn Drive, Scranton through Monday evening.
Donations can be made to Beth Shalom Congregation, 1025 Vine St., 18510; or Friends of the Israeli Defense Force, in Howard’s memory, 500 Office Center Dr. Ste. 400, Ft. Washington, PA 19034.