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Howard Straus
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Howard Straus

Howard Straus, 96, of South Orange died Jan. 10, 2013. Born during World War I, he grew up in Newark and spent alternating seasons in South Orange; Delray Beach, Fla.; and Vail, Colo.

Mr. Straus joined the construction firm J.M. Straus & Co., which his father had formed in 1910 after emigrating from a small village in the Russian Pale. He and his father expanded the business from home-building and store renovations into larger construction projects undertaken throughout New Jersey, with Howard taking over the business after his father’s death in 1957. They were responsible for the building of numerous schools, post offices, synagogues, factories, office buildings, apartment buildings, and community facilities.

He graduated from South Side High School in Newark. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, and returned there to earn a master of science in 1979.

Predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Helaine (Nelkin), in 2002, he is survived by three sons, Michael, Larry and Bill; his daughters-in-law Philippa, Lesley, and Kerry; a brother, Norman; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; his companion of many years, Ronnie Armuth; and his caregivers, Zorelis, Maria, Heidi, and Sula.

Services were held Jan. 12 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston.

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