Leonard Deutsch

July 19, 1928May 6, 2018

Leonard Deutsch, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and uncle, died May 6, 2018 from complications following a stroke. He was 89 years old.

Born in Brooklyn, NY on July 19, 1928, Lennie had a peripatetic youth. In the 1930s he moved from Brooklyn to Woodridge, New York, in the Catskill Mountains at the center of the Borscht Belt, where his father Michael owned a lumber yard. Lennie remembered Woodridge fondly. His oft-repeated stories of his boyhood included fishing trips to Nadelson’s Brook and Silver Lake with one of a long succession of dogs, all named Chico. He loved working at the lumber yard with his father and older brother Jesse, where he drove trucks. The youngest of four children, Lennie was raised by Jesse and Jesse’s wife Ruth, as well as by his parents.

In the early 1940s, Lennie moved to Miami Beach, where his family purchased the Lord Balfour Hotel. He lived with his older sister Sarah while attending Miami Beach High School. He earned extra cash working at the Miami Ajai Alai. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Florida (Gainesville) and Northern Illinois College of Optometry (Chicago). Formal education ended when Lennie was drafted into the army. He served in the Korean War as a Military Police Officer with the Army’s Seventh Infantry Division in Korea and Japan.

Brought together by their families, Lennie was introduced to Rita Blinder (1932-2015) in Woodridge in 1953. They married in Miami a year later. Until 1981, Lennie was the President of Gray Products, Inc., a corporation that sold commercial refrigeration. Later, he worked as a salesman for Safilo Eyewear and became an active member and President of SCORE Miami. For nine years, he provided loving homecare for his daughter Marjorie (1956-1992) and later for Rita.

In retirement, Lennie enjoyed travel with his son Steven. Together, they explored Alaska, the Grand Tetons, and other points out West. He made numerous visits to Maryland to entertain his grandchildren.

Following Rita’s death, Lennie moved to Columbia, Maryland, to a residential care community near his daughter Jo and daughter-in-law Teresa.

Lennie is survived by three children, Phyllis, Jo (Teresa Williams), and Steven, three grandchildren, Jacob, Matthew, and Bena, and several nieces and nephews. He is pre-deceased by his wife Rita, his daughter Marjorie, and his final and most beloved cat, Czarina. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your local animal shelter.


  • Graveside Service Friday, May 11, 2018

Leonard Deutsch

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