Florence Margolis

Florence (Goldberg) Margolis: 3/25/1911-4/1/2003 Row 2:3

Florence was born in Roxboro. Her parents were Joseph and Ida (Kahnansky). They moved to Durham when she was young. Her siblings were Harry Goldberg and Lillian (Fruchtman).

Florence and her husband Sam grew up in the close-knit Jewish community of Durham. Their parents were not actively religious, but the kids participated in the Jewish social life of the community. Her son Howard reports that his parents began going together after sharing the rumble seat of Sam FreedmanŐs car on a trip to a party with the Jewish kids of Danville, Va.

Their three children are Howard, Rod, and Larry. Howard is the only offspring still living in Durham. Rod is director of a Jewish Federation in upstate New York. And Larry lives an Orthodox Jewish life in Brooklyn.

When Florence and Sam married in 1936, she worked as a secretary for a plumbing company and earned $12 a week. Sam worked for A & P and earned $16 a week. In 1944, with little opportunity to advance with A & P, Sam went to work for a pawn shop chain based in Atlanta that was setting up a business location in Durham. From 1952 to 1957, he relocated to Wilmington, first working for the same company and, for awhile, he had his own pawn shop and commuted from Wilmington to Jacksonville.

In 1957, Florence developed a slipped disc which led to surgery back in Durham at Duke. At that point, Sam came back to work in Durham for the same company that had employed him before. He stayed with that firm until 1965 when he started his own business, Sam's Pawn Shop.

Florence served as secretary to the business. She was the "Rock of Gibralter" for the business and the family. It was her steadying influence that helped keep Sam's "Type A personality" under control, according to son Howard. And besides her work in the business, she was always on duty as homemaker and parent. Howard fondly recalls the times when she added typing his term papers to her daily food preparation and general housekeeping for the family.

Both Sam and Florence were active members of Beth El. The handsome patio in front of the Synagogue entrance is the result of a donation given by Sam and Florence's children in honor of their parents, a lasting reminder of the important role they played for many years in the life of our community.