Obituary: Norman A. Margolies

Obituary: Norman A. Margolies

Norman A. Margolies died peacefully at home in Atlanta on Sept. 15, 2018.

Norman A. Margolies died peacefully at home Sept. 15, 2018. He is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Irene (Buntzis); their three children, Gail Reid (Matthew), Renee Katz (Norman), and Alan Margolies (Elyse); five grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Norman grinned at each of their smiling faces every day on his way in and out of his apartment — showing off their pictures daily to everyone at Berman Commons in Dunwoody.

Born in Harlem on Feb. 20, 1927, to Benjamin and Gussie (nee Geffner) Margolies, Norman moved with his family in 1930 to Brooklyn, where his roots ran deep. From a young age he worked in his father’s deli, Ben and Sol’s, establishing his lifelong love of food and devotion to family early on.

To know Norman was to know a real character, a force of nature, the original gourmet, a vanguard of Brooklyn cuisine, culture and history. Along with his brother in the 1960s, Jacob, who predeceased him, Norman built a small empire of fast food restaurants, Benson’s Burgers, known from Nostrand Avenue to Flatlands to Eastern Parkway. Norman was an innovator in the industry, installing the first indoor dining areas, hiring women and offering a varied menu to keep his customers coming back for more.

Six decades after graduating from P.S. 241, he still called together friends he’d met in grammar school for bimonthly dinners. By then he and many of his friends had retired to South Florida. Norman was a lifelong prankster who loved to tell jokes and stories and keep the people he loved laughing. He showed us how to live life to the fullest and taught us that family comes first, that morals and doing the right thing were the foundations of daily living. His family misses him very much. Arrangements made by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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