Steve Friedman was the owner of Friedman Auto Sales in Bedford Heights, and formerly the operator of Friedman Buick Co. in Mayfield Heights. He was recently honored in Columbus by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association as dealer of the year, and poured his heart and soul into his business, always putting the customer first. 

Steve of Pepper Pike collapsed and died of a heart attack at his office on Nov. 8. He was 63 years old.

His father, Max Friedman, along with his brothers, Allen and Bob, began in the used car business in 1945, leading to a Buick franchise in 1957. Not surprisingly, his mother claims his first word as a toddler was “car.” Steve began working at the dealership as a young teenager learning the business from the ground up. 

After college, Steve worked briefly for U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum as a staff aide, and returned to work for the dealership afterward.

Steve grew up in Shaker Heights, and loved nature and horses. He spent several summers backpacking through Colorado on horseback. Those experiences were life changing for him. He also enjoyed taking home movies with his 8mm camera, and reveled in documenting life moments.

Following in the footsteps of his parents, Steve became a community minded individual. Among his good deeds, he volunteered as a Jewish Big Brother, a Park Synagogue trustee, a singer in the volunteer Park Synagogue choir and a committed member of Coach Sam Rutigliano’s Inner Circle Foundation. Steve was also a diehard Cleveland Browns fan.

Steve is survived by his wife of 37 years, Debbie; sons, Scott, Kevin and Kenny; mother, Jane; sisters, Nancy (Joseph Petko) and Suzy (Todd Rose); brother-in-law of Tobe (Stewart Hastings); and his nephew, nieces, a great-niece, cousins and lifelong friends. Steve was a devoted family man who loved taking road trips with his wife and attending sporting events with his sons. 

Services were held Nov. 13 at Park Synagogue. 

Friends who wish may contribute to Park Synagogue or Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation, 23715 Mercantile Road, Beachwood, OH 44122.