CHARLESTON, W. Va., — Home furnishings industry veteran Don Deutsch Sr., died here Oct. 11. He was 93.
Deutsch, who grew up in Parkersburg, W.Va., graduated from West Virginia University and got his start in advertising in New York. Among other things, he volunteered for Big Brothers and wrote speeches for New York City Mayor John Lindsay.
He married Harriet Bloomberg in 1954 and came to Charleston to work in the furniture business. Deutsch was part-owner of FAD furniture stores and the creative force behind the memorable ads. (“When FAD has a sale…”)
“This man was my mentor and guide when I came into the industry in 1973. He taught me everything I know,” said Connie Post, showroom designer and owner of Affordable Design Solutions.
“He let me make mistakes and was such a futurist. He created a fabulous waterbed gallery in his store when no one else even thought of such a thing … called it the ‘The Bed Quarters.’”
Post said other retailers came to check it out and were soon copying the idea. “He put a Broyhill gallery in during the opening days of Paul’ (Broyhill’s) idea because they were friends and was highly successful.
“Men like Don Deutsch do not exist much anymore” she said. “He took a chance on me, and allowed me to grow into merchandise manager and store designer.”
Deutsch and his wife spent winters in Sarasota, Florida, where he pursued his woodworking hobby with a team of volunteer carvers at the Ringling Circus Museum.
Survivors are his wife Harriet; son Jack, daughter-in-law Lori Berman; daughter-in-law Patty Deutsch; sister-in-law Florette Hoffheimer; three grandchildren and one great grandson.
Contributions may be sent to the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation – the Jerome Deutsch Fund.