Howard Margol, 92, born in Jacksonville, Fla., on Feb. 22, 1924, to Morris and Sarah Margol, passed away Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Melvin, and is survived, in Atlanta, by his loving wife of 68 years, Esther Landey Margol; three sons, Bruce (Jan), Gary and Maury (Elise); daughter Felice; nine grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; brother Hilbert Margol (Betty Ann); and sister Bernice Wolf of Tampa, Fla.
Howard, a World War II veteran, served as a private first class in the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division in Western Europe. After returning to the States, he graduated from the University of Florida with a business degree. An entrepreneur at heart, Howard started a furniture business, which he successfully managed for 40 years. Most important, he was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and was a true friend to the Atlanta and international Jewish communities.
He was active with the Mount Paran Civic Association, a founding member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Council on Alcohol and Drugs, and president of the Atlanta and International Jewish Genealogical societies for many years, and he wrote numerous articles, some of which appeared in the Atlanta Jewish Times and Jewish Georgian.
In retirement, Howard found a true passion in the field of genealogy, becoming one of the foremost authorities on Lithuanian genealogical research. For 20 years, he led Roots Tours to Lithuania and helped thousands research their heritage. On one of his first trips to Lithuania, he was so taken aback by the pitiful existence of the Jewish community that he began the American Fund for Lithuanian-Latvian Jews with his wife, Esther, to help rebuild the Jewish community there. Howard also shared his World War II military experience in the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp with various groups across the country and was recorded by numerous historians, all in the spirit of helping the community rebuild and remember. Howard was honored by the Georgia General Assembly at the state Capitol and by the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field as a hometown hero for his service as a World War II veteran and Dachau liberator. He was an athlete and played racquetball until the age of 86.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. Sign the online guestbook at www.edressler.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Fund for Lithuanian-Latvian Jews, c/o Peggy Freedman, 8335 Berkley Ridge, Atlanta, GA 30350. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.