Edward Israel Blum
Edward Israel Blum, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and son, died peacefully at his home in Champaign, Ill on April 29 after a brief and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. The son of Henry and Sali Blum, of blessed memory, Edward was born on February 26, 1930 in Monroe, Mich, where he lived until he was 12. He, his parents, his older sister, Florence, and older brother, Morton “Buddy,” moved from Monroe to Champaign in 1942. He attended Edison Junior High and Champaign Central High, where he played football and, notably, was the only person in Champaign history to win an elephant. He attended the University of Illinois and received a degree in Business Administration. After college, he served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict. Upon his father’s premature death while Edward was still in the Army, he finished his service and returned to Champaign to take care of his mother and run the family clothing store, Blum’s. There he met Eva Mandl and they were married on April 16, 1961 in Chicago during a blizzard that nearly shut down the city. Edward and Eva had three children: their son, Henry Jay Blum, was born in 1962; their daughter, Nancy Adina Blum, was born in 1963; and their son, Theodore Isaac Blum, was born in 1966. In addition to the Blum’s clothing stores, Edward was a restaurateur, owning Treno’s, Coslow’s and several Hardee’s franchise stores. Generations of people will remember Edward for the legendary Christmas and New Year’s open house parties he and his wife, Eva, threw at their Treno’s restaurant, where all their Champaign friends were treated to unlimited pizza, hamburgers, drinks and pinball. To this day, pink-painted quarters, which were given away to guests for their use in the pinball machines, still appear and remind people of the good times they had at those. Edward never actually retired, as he remained irrepressibly curious, imaginative and inventive. He was the inventor and proprietor of the Adapt-a-Lap book holder and continued to search for adaptive ways to improve the lives of senior citizens and people with certain physical disabilities. Edward was a proud Jew, an avid Zionist, a strong community member, a devoted husband, a loving father and grandfather, and a loyal friend. He was preceded in death by his brother, Buddy. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Eva; his son and daughter-in-law, Henry and Vivian; his daughter, Nancy; his son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Leah; his grandchildren: Sali Cherniak and her husband Aharon, and Anna, Joshua, Abigail and Evan Blum; his newly born great-grandson, Ronen Simcha Yisrael Cherniak; his sister and brother-in-law, Florence and Arthur Cohen; and his nieces and nephews. Edward Israel Blum will be sorely missed and his memory will be carried on and perpetuated by his family and all who knew him. An online guestbook is available at www.edressler.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either of the schools his grandchildren attended: The Epstein School, 335 Colewood Way NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30328, www.epsteinatlanta.org; or the Robert M. Beren Academy, 11333 Cliffwood Dr., Houston, TX 77035, www.berenacademy.org. Graveside services took place on Sun., May 4 at Crest Lawn Memorial Park in Atlanta, GA, with Rabbi Bradley Levenberg officiating. The family will sit Shiva at the home of Ted and Leah Blum, in Atlanta. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, (770) 451-4999.