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Family Web Sites ... yours and mine

     Soloski, Cohen, Milavetz, Levy, Margulis, Smolkin Families


     Soloski Family Tree, drawn by Barbara Schaeffer

Soloski Family

Alan Garon and Jack Abramson jackabramson@aol.com have created a huge database of relatives somehow related to the Karon/Garon/Soloski/Milavetz families, including mine.

If you are, or think you are related to the many Jewish families who lived in Duluth, Superior, Virginia, etc., I suggest you send an email to Jack Abramson, explain your possible connection and he can then help you to access the database. jackabramson@aol.com


Family History

Isaac Cohn m.
Henne Leah Kaplan

Feiga (Fanny) Cohn
   m. Yitzchak Rozenberg
Theodore Soloski

Isaac Cohn, - b. - 1822 in Plunge (Plungian) Lithuania, - d. 6-29-1897 m.
Henne Leah Kaplan, - b. - 1824 in Memel (Klaipeda) and died in Memel in 1903

Hand drawn map of Plunge drawn by Teddy Sher from his memory of growing up in this shtetl where Theodore and Feiga Cohn lived.

At the time of their marriage, it was under the rule of, first the Polish King and later by the Russians and then the Germans. Isaac was a well-to-do merchant and probably was in the
shoe manufacturing business

According to a document I received from the Lithuanian Archives, (now in the possession of Michelle Margulis Bretz), he was 71 years old at the time of death in Memel - June 29,
1897 in the afternoon at 4:30 o'clock.  The document was  signed by Isidor Cohn. It appears that at that time, Isaac was living with Isidor - or vice versus. They had four
daughters and one son.  Henne Leah died in 1903

The Cohn family were apparently fairly prosperous and, from what I had learned, were in the shoe manufacturing business in Memel which is now known as Klapedia.  We visited the city during our 1986 Lithuanian trip, but didn't learn a great deal.  However, some Birth Certificates and other papers are now with Michele Margulis Bretz as I sent her quite a few vinyl books with various pieces of information on all of the family that I had found to date..

Cohen Family

Isadore Cohen
  Edith Cohen



Ruth Cohen - m.
  Louis Fishman divorced
    Adele G.- 11-29-2013
     ? Roth
       son ?


Theodore Soloski

My mother's father, may he rest in peace.  I was named after him.  He was one of the first Jews to be buried in the Duluth Jewish cemetery.  He died in 1900.  His burial stone is located right up against a boundary fence in the Jewish cemetery outside of Duluth, Minnesota..

Theodore was the second husband of Faigeh Cohn who had been previously married to Mr. Rozenberg.  He had died during the Black Plaque in Europe and Faigeh (Fanny in the US) married Theodore Soloski.  I have not found any information, so far, on Grandfather Theodore.

Theodore Soloski b. in Lithuania d: 1900 in Duluth, Minnesota
    +Fanny "Feiga" Cohen b. 1854 in Memel (Klapedia) Lithuania d. Oct. 10,
      1934 in St. Louis County, Minnesota

Descendants of Theodore Soloski

    Benjamin R. (Ben) Soloski b. August 8, 1880 Latvia d: Sept. 7, 1946 in
    St. Louis County
+Bessie Buchman b. 1883 d:
      +Theodore A. Soloski

     Daisy Soloski Tatch
      Robert Tatch
       Lois Tatch
        Robert ?

       Norman Tatch

    Sarah Rebecca Soloski Milavetz - b. July 28, 1883 in Lithuania d: May 4, 1976 in
                                                         Virginia, Minnesota

    +Isadore Z. (Ike, Harry, Isaac) Milavetz born Dec. 5, 1879 in Germany d: Sept. 24,
    1937 in Virginia, MN

      David Milavetz b: April 16, 1902 in Wisconsin d: August 29, 1969 in
      Virginia, MN
      +Francis Shirley M (Fraydal) Kaufman Milavetz b: February 25, 1916 in St Louis County, MN
        d: July 24, 1993 in St. Louis Park, MN.



Francis had one brother, Carl.  http://www.garon.us/images2/Duluth/Kaufman,%20Carl%20vrhs%201932.jpg

Milavetz Family Notes

Sarah Soloski Milavetz was my mother (Bessie Soloski Margulis) oldest sister.  In my opinion, Sarah was not a very giving person, however, her son David and his wife, Frances Kaufmann, made up with their kindness to my immediate family.  I knew Aunt Sarah but not her husband, Ike as he died just after I was born. This family are all buried in Virginia, Minnesota's Jewish Cemetery.  Isadore (Ike) had 2 brothers: Benjamin and Samuel and three sisters: Ann Milavetz, Celia Milavetz and Yetta Milavetz

Monroe (Duke) Milavetz was the youngest one of Aunt Sarah's sons born in 1911.  He was married to Ruth, and was a commercial artist working for Sears Roebuck in Chicago in their catalog department.  Duke was trained in Vienna (Vienna School of Design & Crafts) on a scholarship (according to an article in the American Jewish World of Minneapolis as published in the October 16, 1931 issue, but I never saw any of his art as such.  He and Ruth adopted a girl as I recall.  During WW II, Duke was stationed with the Air Corps and his job was to do the sketches that were needed for the training manuals and work on designing camouflage.  Sig Shattil, a cousin, remembered Duke and about the magazine covers he did, when Sig visited Abe Milavetz and his wife Lena in Virginia, Minnesota.  According to Ron Shattil (a relative on the Cohen side of my mother's family), Lena died of leukemia. Lena did needle point and made a little foot stool for the Shattil family which Ron has/had.

David Milavetz married Frances Kaufmann and they had Judy (Friedson); Gary and Barry.  David was my most favorite cousin.  He was a magazine distributor on the Iron Range and was very well respected.  Frances was one of the best cook and bakers - ever!  I spent quite a few summers at the Milavetz cabin on Sand Lake - just outside of Virginia.  Those were just great days what with many of the Soloski clan coming out to visit us - the Minneapolis mishpacha.  The cabin, as I first remember, was quite rustic with an outdoor toilet, but when I was in my teens, indoor plumbing was installed and the front porch was screened in allowing me to sleep so peacefully on the porch without the bothersome mosquitoes who liked to munch on me.

George Milavetz, b. 7-5-1904 and was a Dentist - d.  St Louis County, MN. My first recollection of George was at his dental practice in Ely, Minnesota and how he tried to set up a "shitach" with a young lady by the family name of Beugen.  Her father was a druggist in Ely.  His wife, Minnie (Popkin) was a lovely, quiet lady and in their later years, they resided in Highland Park, in St. Paul.  George's practice was at that time in St. Paul. -  d: November 13,1987 in St Paul, Minnesota


     Minnie Popkin b. January 23, 1905 St Louis County, MN d: March 9,
       1992 in St Paul, MN.


   Barry Ira Milavetz
         Judith Sue Podell
           Adam Milavetz

    Judith (Judy) Milavetz b: 1946
      Jeffrey Freidson (divorced)
          Deborah Freidson
          Jenne Freidson
          Ben Freidson

     Gary Milavetz b: 1955
       Mary Elizabeth Teresi b: 1960 M: Nov 25, 1989 Minneapolis, MN.
          Francesca Milavetz b: 1995


Robert Jay Milavetz
  Michelle Yellen - b: 1939 - d: November 2004

          Alan Scott "Baruch Shloym" Milavetz b: May 15, 1958
           Bonnie Gay Resnick b: Dec. 16, 1959 m: June 1, 1986 in Hennepin
                                        County, MN
             David Jacob Resnick Milavetz b: March 24, 1988
             Daniel Elie Resnick "Dan" Milavetz b: Feb. 20, 1991
             Zoe Bess Resnick Milavetz b: Dec. 27, 1995
             Talia Mya Milavetz b: Dec. 27, 1995
         Stacy Jo Milavetz b: 1962
          Jonathan David Gallop b: 1956 m: Nov. 5, 1983 in Hennepin County, MN
            Amy Lynn Gallop b: April 17, 1992
            Mollie Rachel Gallop b: April 17, 1992
            Joshua Peter Gallop b: Sept. 30, 1995

        James Jared Milavetz b: 1963
          Donna Marie Lattari b: 1966 m: August 21, 1994 in Hennepin County, MN
            Maxwell Sidney "Max" Milavetz b: August 1998
            Nicole Mae Milavetz b: Nov. 1999
            Olivia Milavetz b: March 20, 2004

        Richard Duane Milavetz b: July 12, 1933 in St. Louis County, MN

        Kenneth Sheldon Milavetz b: 1933 d: September 7, 1941 in St. Louis
        County, MN.
        Warren Soloski

    Monroe "Duke" Milavetz
      Ruth Berman - Deceased Name: MILAVETZ , RUTH BERMAN

Ruth Berman Milavetz, 89, beloved wife of Munroe; loving mother of Karen (Richard J.) Weiland; proud grandmother of Jacob, Ezra and Nathan; dear sister of Julian Berman, Fred Berman and the late Muriel Kerns; fond aunt to many nieces and nephews. Funeral Services 1 p.m. Wednesday at Piser Funeral Services, 9200 N. Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL. Interment Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N. Ravens-wood Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Community Counseling Center of Chicago, 4740 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640. Funeral info, 847-679-4740 .

Chicago Tribune (IL)
Date: July 18, 2007
Edition: Chicago
Page: 11
Record Number: CTR0707180217

         Karen Milavetz
         +Richard J. Weiland
           Jacob Weiland
           Ezra Weiland
           Nathan Weiland

     Sidney D. Milavetz  b. 12-23-1907 in St. Louis County d: Hennepin  County
     +Edith Dena Smith Krasken b: November 4, 1907 in Ramsey County d:
      August 3, 1999 in Hennepin County

     Sidney Milavetz was a dentist and practiced in Minneapolis.  I understand that he was
     involved in the development of a dental tool used to wash away debris in the mouth
     after drilling into a tooth.  He married late in life and to a very lovely lady, Edith Smith.

Morris Soloski - b: 2-22-1894 in Lithuania, emigrated to Duluth, Minnesota and then lived at 33611 Tampa, Hillsborough,  FL
   Social Security: 475-34-7865
   +Anne Yessni Miller - b: March 25, 1894 in Lithuania - d: June 1979
        Possibly Eleanor



Harry J. Soloski b: 1891 Russia (Lithuania)- Emigrated to Superior, Wisconsin (Lived at
                         1807 Hughitt Ave., Superior, Wisconsin) -  d: October 7, 1970
  Mamie Milavetz - b. Russia 1901
      Beatrice Goldstein


      Rabbi Julius Shuback



  +Mamie Ines Anne "Musel" Milavetz b: 1893 in Russia d: June 7 ?

    Theodore "Ted" Soloski - b: October 13, 1912 in Crow Wing County d: ?
                                             Minneapolis, Mn.
    +Beatrice Goldstein
        Warren Soloski

   Jewel Dorothy Soloski b: December 18, 1916 in Superior, Wisconsin, d:
                                       Bloomfield, Michigan
   +Rabbi Julius Shuback - b: July 9, 1921 in Koblenz, Germany married: 1943

     Joyce Abbie Shuback b: July 25, 1951 in East Chicago, Indiana  
      Harold Rosenbloom b: October 12, 1951 in Hammond, Indiana d:
       Adam Rosenbloom b: April 8, 1978 in Hammond, Indiana
       Robert Hertz b: July 31, 1947 in Illinois
       Rivian Hertz b: August 18, 1983 in Merrillville, Indiana
         Andrij Ivan "AJ" Petryna b: October 10, 1969 in Hammond, Indiana

     Fred Raphael Shuback b: December 3, 1952 in East Chicago, Indiana
       Mindy Sue Sacks b: March 23, 1955 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota
         Marissa Beth Shuback b: July 7, 1982 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota
         Jeremy Alan Shuback b: August 12, 1984 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota
         Andrea Michelle Shuback b: May 29, 1988 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Bessie Soloski Margulis b. Superior, WI d. Los Angeles, CA
  Samuel Charles Margulis - b. Talnoye, Ukraine d. 4-30-1961 Minneapolis,
  Children of Samuel Margulis' first marriage to ? Chernyahovscaya 

*Marion Margulis Levy -  b. Talnoye, Ukraine d. 6-4-2000 Chicago, IL
      Charles Levy - b. d.
         Daniel Levy b. 11-6-1937 Brooklyn, N.Y.
           Lorraine Levy b. New York 1-2-1940

        Mildred Levy b. Brooklyn, N.Y.
          Allen Feinstein b. Brooklyn, N.Y.
           Ginelle (Ginny) Hope Feinstein Kuper
           Tyler Charles born 6-4-1991
           Dylan James born 1-14-1995
           Reese Alexander born 4-8-1999

*Moshe Chaimovitch Margulis - b. Talnoye, Ukraine d. Berdichev, Ukraine
m ? Chernyahahovscaya b. Talnoye, Ukraine

 +Tuba Idelevna b. 6-13-1915 f. 11-19-1966
       Yudik Margulis b. Talnoye, Ukraine  d. Israel
       Semion Margulis b. Talnoye, Ukraine

 *Aaron Margulis* (Murdered in Kerch, Ukraine with wife & daughter by the Nazis)
     +Frida - (Murdered in Kerch, Ukraine
       Ida d: Kerch, Ukraine 1940 - (Murdered in Kerch, Ukraine

* denotes child from Samuel's first marriage in Ukraine 


Children of Samuel Margulis second marriage to Bessie Soloski

Bessie Soloski Margulis, my mother.  Her identical twin was Jennie Soloski Horwitz who lived in Duluth, Minnesota. Mom died on my birthday and Dad died on my brother's birthday.  She was a "great mom!"

    Peggy Margulis Barisof - b. Minneapolis, MN 2-14-1925 d. 6-24-?
                                            Los Angeles, CA
      Leo Barisof - b. St. Paul, Minnesota, d. Los Angeles, CA
        Steven Barisof b. Minneapolis, MN
         Bonnie  b.    New Jersey
          Milo  b. Santa Cruz, CA

        Nancy Barisof b. Minneapolis, Minnesota - lives in Seattle, Washington

     Theodore (Ted) Harvey Margulis b. Minneapolis, Minnesota January 3, 1931
       Harriet Sokol b. 6-3-1933 St. Paul, Minnesota (Divorced Minneapolis
                             Minnesota d. May 16, 1997)
         Michel Bruce Margulis Sokol b. 2-22-1956 St Paul, MN.
           Stacy Perl Sokol b. 3-12-1953 Minneapolis, MN.

            Joshua Adam Sokol
             Kayleen Sokol
              Olivia Sokol
              Ellie and Audrey - (Twins) b. Austin, TX 6-18-2010
              Delilah Adeline b. Austin, TX 7-2011  

            Amy Sokol Erickson b. Minneapolis, MN 2-22- 1990
             Chris Erickson
               Evan Noah Erickson
               Eli October 2012 ?

Beth El Synagogue, 1349 Penn Avenue North, where Shirley and I were married on June 3, 1956 with Rabbi David Aaronson performing the service.

Theodore (Ted) Harvey Margulis b. Minneapolis, Minnesota January 3, 1931
      Shirley Bernadine Smolkin b. 9-8-1934 Married: 6-3-1956

Randi Ellen Margulis Grinbaum b. Los Angeles, CA
          Joseph Grinbaum b. Los Angeles, CA
            Brianna Faye Grinbaum b. Los Angeles, CA
            Jeffrey Jordan Grinbaum b. Los Angeles, CA

        Craig Scott Margulis b. 6-20- Los Angeles, Ca
          Beth Garfinkel  b. Los Angeles, CA.
           Justin Margulis b.  Los Angeles, CA
           Alyssa Margulis b. Los Angeles, CA

        Corey Martin Margulis b. 2-14-1951   Los Angeles, CA
          Sofie Roberge Margulis b. Quebec, Canada
            Emma Zave Margulis b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
            Stella Minnie Margulis b. 2-4-10 Phoenix, AZ

  Geraldine Margulis Herman b. Oct. 22, 1932 Minneapolis, MN
   Ronald Herman - b. Minneapolis, MN d. Minneapolis, MN.
     Leslie Herman b. 5-22 Minneapolis, MN
      Mike Doyle

   Laurie Herman - b. Minneapolis, Minnesota

 Frank Margulis b. 4-30-1936
     Kali Daneman Margulis b.  d. 3-04-2010
       Scott Margulis b. 1-9-1970
        Lisa ?
         Ashley b.
         Brandon b.

       Michele Bretz
        Rick Bretz

 Anita Margulis -  b. 2- 14, 1939 Minneapolis, MN. - d. 12, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA
                           Buried in Minneapolis, Minnesota next to parents

 Jennie Soloski Horwitz  b. Superior, WI d. Minneapolis, MN (Bessie's twin)
   Nathan Horwitz b. 1891 d. 5-29-1945 St. Louis County

     William - b: 2-04-1918 Duluth, Minnesota d: September 27, 2006
       Selma Gilberstadt b. - d 11- 2011

         Francis m.

      Nancy Cooney m.
       John Cooney

   Dorothy (Doddie) Horwitz
     Milton Hubert Altman - b: July 18, 1917 Duluth, Minnesota -  m: May 21, 1942 in
                                         Camp Lee, Virginia - d: March 1994
       Michael m. Bonnie
        Justin m. Debby
         1 son & 1 daughter

Bryan (not married)

   Neil Edward Altman b: Jan 17, 1946

   Robert Altman b: Feb. 21,1949

   James Samuel Altman b: July 02, 1952

 Lionel (Labe) Horwitz b: August 11, 1930 St Louis County, MN.
  Marilyn ?

 Theodore David (Ted) Horwitz b: August 1936 St Louis County, MN
                                                  d: 11-22-1981 Minneapolis, MN.
   Harriet Gross b. 1942 in Mpls. (Shirley's First Cousin)

Esther Soloski Solomon b. Superior, WI d. Minneapolis, MN
  Samuel Solomon - b.          d. International Falls, Minnesota
    Myrle b: ?  in International Falls, Minnesota
     Jack Ehrlich - b: ? in St Paul, Minnesota, d. Fountain Valley, Arizona

Isadore and Edith Cohen in the 1920s

B'nai Abraham shul in Virginia, Minnesota where the Cohens, the Milavetz and the Soloskis were prominent members. Note: I'm not sure if the Cohn family spelled their name with or without the letter e.

Jennie Soloski (Horwitz) (my mother's twin) married Nathan Horwitz (a Cigar Maker) and had William (Selma), Dottie (Milton Altman), Lionel (?), and Theodore who married Ted's wife, Shirley's first cousin Harriet Gross.



People Who Have Contacted Me Re The Cohn and Soloski Family Connection

Allan Garon allan@Garon.us

Robert Strumwasser RobertStrum@email.msn.com

There were two (count 'em) Ted or Theodore Soloski; one Ted Horwitz and one Ted Margulis - all, of course, named after our grandfather Theodore Soloski.  Ted Soloski the son of Harry Soloski, died at a fairly young age.  He was a food chemist and developed, among several other items, Brown 'N Serve rolls.  On his way home from work, most evenings, he would stop by our home on Thomas and give us samples of the various types of rolls he had worked on that day.

The second Ted Soloski was also known as Ted Roberts and he was married to Minnie.  This Ted was at first a teacher in Ohio, met Minnie and moved to Los Angeles where he became a salesman selling couch covers for many years.  When Shirley and I first moved to Los Angeles in 1957, Minnie and Ted invited us to their home to participate with their family in many Jewish holidays.

Ted Horwitz met Shirley's first cousin, Harriet Gross at our wedding and fell in love with a 15 year old girl.  He dated Harriet (aka Butzie) until she was old enough to be married.  Ted was a CPA and died at a very young age.


Margulis (Margolis, Margoulis)


My father's passport from Ukraine




Sam Margulis

Bessie Soloski Margulis

Samuel Charles Margulis (Chaim Shmuel) aka Sam and "Murphy".  He was born in Talnoye, Ukraine.  He was married to Hadassah (?) Rosen who bore him two boys and a girl.  The boys were Moishe Haimovich and Aaron. The girl was Marion who first married a man by the name of Frank ? and was divorced shortly thereafter and then married Charles Levy and became Marion Levy. I remember hearing that Marion and Charlie may have been cousins.  Charles Levy was one of my three GREAT brother-in-laws!

It all started from this fax shown above from The American Red Cross which I received at our home in Palm Desert, California on June 19, 2000.  After coming off the ceiling with joy, I then called and spoke to my nephew, Simon (Semion) for quite some time and explained our connection.  He was so delighted (as I was) to learn of our relationship.  After he got over the initial shock of learning of our connection, he said: "but you are my enemy".  He had served many years in the Soviet Army and that is what he was taught.

Shortly thereafter, he and his wife Lana (Svetlana) flew to the US to meet us and some of the rest of the family.  After spending time with us around southern California, they continued on to New York to attend his grandson's Bar Mitzvah and to meet relatives of his mother who lived in Cleveland, Ohio.

My half-brother Moishe fought in WW II at Stalingrad.  Some of his medals and his wrist watch hang proudly in my office.  Moishe was awarded a number of medals and some of them hang in my office given to me by Bronislava, his second wife.  The medals were accompanied by a red booklet and Simon translated the information from Russian to English, as follows:

"For excellent service in Military Force USSR."
Petty officer Margulis Moisha Haimovich by Order Ministry of Defence USSR
N 43 17 January 1959 get Reward Medal "For excellence Service Degree Second" Commander Military Base N6184 Colonel Konyaev. 22 February 1959 By Order Ministry of Defence USSR N 44 Reward Medal "For excellence Service" Degree First Commander base N16580 General - Major Belov 21 February 1963"

Moishe had two sons: Simon and Yuri from his first wife.  Yuri died in Israel, and we met Simon (See Margulis Saga for this amazing story) in Los Angeles

Aaron, his wife and daughter Ida (who would have been the same age as I) were killed by the Nazis in Kerch, Ukraine.  Moshe's first wife was Tuba Rosen. Moishe grew up in Zvenigorod orphanage.  After leaving the orphanage, he went to Kerch where he lived with his brother Aaron.  In Kerch, Moishe worked in a metal working plant as a steel temperer.  From July 1941 until October 1943, he was at the front in a tank unit where he won several medals for bravery.  He also played in an Army band. After the war, he remained in military service in Lutsk, then Novograd-Wolynski.  He retired as a junior sergeant. He moved to Berdechev in 1967 with his second wife, Bronislava whom he met when she was a nurse in the Soviet Army.  He died on June 20 1991 which coincidently is the birthday of my son Craig

Moshe's grave in Berdichev, Ukraine. That's me next to the gravestone.

Bronislava - Moshe's second wife (we're not sure if they ever married) for many years and who gave us information about Moshe and his life.

Simon (Semen, Simeon) Mikhaylovich Margoulis born 1934.  The following information exists in the card file for officers of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation:

"Major T/S Margulis, Semen Mikhaylovich (Shiman Moysheevich), date of birth - 1935, resident of the city of Kerch, Crimean Oblast, by Ministry of Defense Order No. 0167, dated March 16, 1982, was retired in to the reserves as per Article 59, P. <<a> to the registry of the Soviet RVK of the city of Minsk; on March 23, 1984 was on the registry in the Runze RVK of the city of Minsk, Belarus.  The wife of Margulis is (Rashkovskaya) Sarra Suneevna, date of birth - 1940; son- Aleksandr, date of birth 1964."

Today, Simon and Lana live happily in St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia

Yurly Mikhaylovich Margoulis - born 1937.  Died in Israel, date unknown

1316 North Thomas Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota where I grew up from 1936 until I married Harriet Sokol in 1952.  The marriage lasted just short of 3 years, but we had a son, Michael from this marriage.  The phone number at the Thomas Avenue house was Cherry 4003. Before we moved into this home, I was born in an apartment behind my father's upholstery shop and just above us were the Cook family.  This was located at the corner of 7th and Lyndale. When i started Grant Public School, we had moved to 1122 Fremont Avenue North and lived in the downstairs' apartment until we moved to 1300 Morgan Avenue where I transferred to Willard Public school.

I had a very nice life living at home with my parents until my marriage to Harriet.  My very first job was selling door to door snow suits (I was around 11 years old) which were obtained from Chuck Rosen's father's factory.  At age 15 or 16, I applied for and was hired to sell women's shoes at Allan's - in downtown Minneapolis where I worked there and a couple of other shoe stores part time while attending North High and later the University of Minnesota.  One day, my friend Clarice Sherman (of blessed memory), who lived just down the street from us on Thomas, introduced me to her then boyfriend, Mel Zuckman. 

Soon thereafter, I left the U of M to open Cleveland TV and Appliance store on Cleveland Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota.  We struggled for a few years and finally I had to give up my share of the business because of two factors:  one was that Mel didn't recognize other people's sleeping hours and would make service calls very late at night - sometimes even at 2 or 3 in the morning and I was getting complaints galore but mostly because after dating Harriet Sokol for awhile, she gave me an ultimatum that I either get a regular paying job or she wouldn't marry me. 

So I first got a job at an employment agency figuring that if an interesting job were to come across my desk, I could get to it first.  And that's what happened.  There was a job opening at Kaplan Paper Box/Minnesota Envelope Company as a box designer and estimator - and I jumped at the chance.  Harriet was pleased and she made plans for our wedding which took place at the Commodore Hotel in St. Paul.  John (Morris) Sokol had just gone through bankruptcy and couldn't afford the wedding, so my Dad co-signed a loan for me with the Chesed Chel Emes in Minneapolis for all of $300.

We were married and within a few months, John died of a heart attack.  I was working at Kaplan Paper Box at that time, which was located about a mile from John's apartment in the West Side of St. Paul.  Harriet asked me to come over quickly which I did.  As I walked into the apartment, Ida Sokol, Harriet's mother, grabbed Harriet so that her back was to me and Ida, looking directly at me stated very succinctly to me "now I only have you to take care of me" while facing me. I knew I was in deep doo doo at that moment as Ida was a domineering type person who I had continually tried to avoid arguing with her. 

Sure enough, shortly after burying John, and without asking, Ida, and Harriet's younger sister Lois, moved into our apartment.  I don't remember her ever paying a share of the rent or buying any food, but Ida knew how to boss and she told me, (as an example of the kind of situation I was facing), not to touch the refrigerator door handle without putting a towel around the handle.  And it wasn't even her refrigerator!

So there we were - Harriet and I living in a 2 bedroom apartment in St. Paul, along with Harriet's mother and her sister Lois.  Just before Christmas, I came into the apartment and found my chalk pastels broken and laying on the carpet.  When I asked why my private chalk pastels were there and not in the closet where I had kept them, Harriet's mother told me off and said that she had told Lois she could play with them.  No sorry ... no apology.  I was furious and asked Harriet to come into our bedroom alone.

I took hold of her shoulders and told her that this was the last straw.  She had to make up her mind to either live with me or with her mother.  Harriet started to cry, but then she looked straight into my eyes and said "I want to live with my mother."

So I left that day and we tried to reconcile - even went to a Rabbi to try to get the matter resolved, but Harriet's mother would not move out and so we were divorced.  At Josh's Bar Mitzvah, Harriet and I were cordial and she met Shirley for the first time.  Harriet was suffering from MS and died a few years later after having been married a second time that only lasted a few weeks.  Same problem with the mother.

Ted, Mom, Dad and Michael at 1316 N Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ted married Harriet Sokol in 1952 and they had a son Michael in 1954 just before Ted divorced Harriet.  Harriet raised Michael mostly by herself as Ted had moved to California in 1957.  Mike married Stacy Perl on July 4, 1976. Because Harriet held her anger almost to the end, I was not invited to the wedding.  Mike and Stacy had two children - Joshua (Kayleen) and had four children (Olivia and twins) and Amy (Chris Erickson) who had Evan Noah and around October, 2012 will have a new great grandson to the family.  It will be our sixth Great Grandchild!

Possible Relatives to be checked

Other Margulis names that I have not been able to pinpoint as to a relationship with my dad's family.

Berko Margulis (Boris) San Francisco (415 752 8329)  son is Michail Margulis, Professor in Donetsk Technical University margulis@kot.dgtu.donetswk.ua  Michail has a sister, Yelisavetz (Lisa) Shkolnik Phone: 415 674 1990 pshkol@netzero.net 

Howard Margulis (Howard.L.Margulis@Bakernet.com )- father Nathan of Chernigov emigrated to St. Louis

Sam Margulis

Gift Exchange Days

"America's Greatest Trader" in the Gift Exchange 1961.  It was located at 8825 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles. The business idea of creating a business to exchange duplicate or unwanted gift items was mine as my father-in-law, Charlie Smolkin, couldn't find a job when he and Minnie moved to Los Angeles in 1959. The idea took hold and became very well known in the 1960s and 70s, not only in Los Angeles but in 25 other cities where we had franchised Gift Exchange stores.  It was much publicized - especially the day after Christmas.  In fact, on the Huntley-Brinkley News, Shirley showed off her pregnancy to the world for the first time!  Art Linkletter had me on his show three times - Steve Allen invited me twice; Pamela Mason and there were many other guest appearances on both radio, TV and stories about our business in Time, Life, Coronet, Readers Digest and more.

Seating in front, going clockwise: Jill, Marian Margulis Levy (my half-sister from my father's first marriage); Charlie Levy; Lorraine and Danny Levy and Gerri Herman

Marion was, as far as I was concerned, my older sister, even though she left our father's house before I was born.  She was a very sweet lady and after Charlie died, she moved to Chicago to be near her daughter, Millie.

The Levy Family
Charles Levy (a possible first cousin to Marian through the Brodsky family) married Marian Levy (her second marriage) and lived in Brooklyn, New York until their retirement to Hollywood, Florida.  Charley was one great brother-in-law and treated Shirley and I with such great warmth - as if we had been their best friends since child birth.  Marian too was warm and gracious when she first met Shirley and Shirley's father on their trip they had made together to Montreal, where Charlie Smolkin met his sisters for the first time in many, many years and then flew to New York to visit Marian and Charley. 

Marian and Charley had two children - a boy, Daniel and a girl, Millie (Mildred) who is married to a great guy - Alan Feinstein.

Millie and Al have the following children:
Ginelle (Ginny) Hope Feinstein Kuper who have Tyler Charles born 6-4-1991; Dylan James born 1-14-1995 and Reese Alexander born 4-8-1999

Abraham (Abe) Margolis (my father's younger brother)
 Rose (Reese) Thomashefsky Margolis
   Unknown (divorced)
    Norman Gendein 
    Alvin Gendein
    Bruce Gendein

 Minnie Margolis Zimmerman b: ?  d: ?
  Max Zimmerman b: ? d: ?
   Nancy Zimmerman b: ?  in Minneapolis

 Irving Margolis b. 1918 d.  12-21-2012
  Clara ?
  ? son
  ? son
  Linda Margolis Ettinger
  +Rabbi Etenu Ettinger

Jack Margolis d.
+Ruth Rocker b: ? Divorced: ?
  +Naomi Rose
  Barry Margolis
  Sherri Margolis Huff
  ? son
  ? son

Sarah Margolis Shields b. 1916 d. 11-12-13
 Sam Shlimovitz (Shields)

Michael Shields

Phyllis Margolis Applebaum
 Melvin Applebaum
  Gail Applebaum
  Lori Applebaum

Possible Relatives to be checked

Other Margulis names that I have not been able to pinpoint as to a relationship with my dad's family.

Berko Margulis (Boris) San Francisco (415 752 8329)  son is Michail Margulis, Professor in Donetsk Technical University margulis@kot.dgtu.donetswk.ua  Michail has a sister, Yelisavetz (Lisa) Shkolnik Phone: 415 674 1990 pshkol@netzero.net 

Howard Margulis (Howard.L.Margulis@Bakernet.com )- father Nathan of Chernigov emigrated to St. Louis

Sam Margulis


more to come ...

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