David Mandel, 92, passed away Oct. 7, 2021.
A resident of Beachwood, David previously lived in Tamarac, Fla., and Grand Rapids, Mich. He was born on Aug. 28, 1929, in Mukachevo, Czechoslovakia.
A survivor of Birkenau, Auschwitz, Jaworzno, Gleiwitz and Blechhammer concentration and slave labor camps, he arrived in the United States with his father and one of his brothers, as the only survivors of his family on June 17, 1946, following the Holocaust.
After graduating with straight As from Union High Night School, he received a Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Grant Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., on Dec. 7, 1988.
David went on to become president and owner of William Klein Store for Men in Grand Rapids. He attended services at Temple Beth Torah Sha’arey Tzedek in Tamarac and Congregation Ahavas Israel in Grand Rapids. Additionally, he was involved in Lion’s Club and Egypt Valley Country Club in Grand Rapids and the Woodland Country Club in Tamarac.
David moved to Cleveland in August 2019.
As a Holocaust survivor, David spent time educating children and adults on his experiences. He went on the March of the Living twice and was the subject of two documentaries including “Auschwitz: If You Cried You Died” and “The Fire Within.” He spoke at various venues making a huge impact at middle and high schools.
He was known for his smile, jokes, lilting, davening, blowing the shofar and his overall goodness. He also loved golf. His story, determination and love of Judaism and all people leave a strong legacy. Our lives were enriched by his presence and forever changed by his love. May his memory be for a blessing.
David is survived by his cherished nieces and nephews, Sheri (Billy) Sax, Anita (Zvi) Feigenbaum, Audrey Heller (Phil Sneiderman) and Steve (Beth) Swartz; and is the great-uncle, great-great-uncle, cousin, great-cousin, great-great-cousin and honorary Zeyde to hundreds. He was predeceased by his parents, Zeisele and Isaac Mandel; and siblings, Yaakov Moshe Mandel, Shmuel Tzvi Mandel, Betzalel Tuvia Mandel, Yehuda Aryeh Mandel, Esther Malka Mandel, Tzvi Klein and Shirley Shoenig.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Hebrew Memorial Chapel, 26640 Greenfield Road in Oak Park, Mich. Zoom link for the live stream is at hebrewmemorial.org and will be posted for 45 days. Enter his name “David Mandel” to access.
Burial will be at Hebrew Memorial Park (Chesed Shel Emes) Cemetery, 33230 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville, Mich. There will be no shiva.
Donations in memory of David can be made to Broward County March of the Living at bit.ly/3AjyTVO, or 5890 South Pine Island Road, Davie, FL 33328.