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David Rudner
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David Rudner

David H. Rudner, 93, of South Orange died Oct. 26, 2012. He was born in Punivez, Lithuania. During a pogrom at age seven he, his sister Edith, and their mother Hannah were hidden in an attic by a woman only known as “a kind Christian lady.” Shortly thereafter, they were able to sail to New York through Ellis Island, where their names are now engraved on a commemorative plaque. After living in Maplewood for 53 years, in August 2011 he moved to South Orange.

By age 13, Mr. Rudner was a First Violinist with the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra. During his college summers, he sang with dance bands at “Borscht Belt” hotels and played violin, clarinet, and saxophone. He graduated from Rutgers University in 1941 with a degree in agriculture.

In World War II, he was a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, serving in France, Belgium (during the Battle of the Bulge), and Germany. He was under orders to join the Japanese invasion force when the atomic bombs were dropped over Japan.

After the war, he took on the challenge of a brand-new field, selling pension plans to companies large and small. Eventually, he developed over 400 clients ranging from large manufacturers such as Mattel Toymakers to individual entrepreneurs such as actor Art Carney.

He joined the South Orange Symphony Orchestra in 1963, playing violin for 49 consecutive seasons until a physical malady cost him the finger dexterity necessary to play. He was also an active member and golfer at Maplewood Country Club for over 30 years.

He is survived by his wife of over 71 years, Doris (Berkowitz); two sons, Robert and Richard; a sister, Edith Steinhoff; a brother, Michael; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Services were held Oct. 28 with arrangements by Menorah Chapels of Millburn, Union. Memorial contributions may be made to the South Orange Symphony Orchestra.

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