Willard M. Salzer, 92, of Lenox, formerly of Norwalk, Connecticut, and Naples, Florida, passed away peacefully Feb. 10, 2018, at Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center.
He was born Feb. 23, 1925, in the Bronx, New York, the middle son of Morris and Ethel Salzer. He spent his early years in Spring Valley, New York, before moving to Denver, Colorado, with his family, where he graduated from East High School. His studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder were interrupted by World War II. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 as a radar technician stationed in the Aleutian Islands. He returned to the University of Colorado on the GI bill where he finished his B.A. and received an M.A. in philosophy with a focus on economics.
Will began his career as an economist with the U.S. Labor Department in Washington, D.C., and the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco. Most of his professional life was at Allied Stores Corp. in New York City, where he became vice president for planning and research and a nationally known authority on retail store location. In his later years, he pursued his interest in teaching and taught market research and business administration at Florida International University and Regis University.
In San Francisco, Will met the love of his life, Judy Freilich. They married in 1953 and spent 58 wonderful years together, primarily in Norwalk, where they raised their family. He was an adoring and kind father to his three daughters. Will loved cars and was the unofficial consultant to family and friends for their automobile purchases. He enjoyed tennis, golf and listening to classical music. He was active in his community, and ran for the office of Connecticut state representative in 1994. He was known for his sense of humor, mischievous behavior and optimism. Despite serious health challenges in his later years, he met each day with a passion for life and a resilience that was an inspiration to all around him.
He is survived by his three loving daughters Nancy Salzer of Arlington, Jan Salzer-Ogden of Lanesborough and Susie O’Donohue of Naples, Florida; his son-in-law Elton Ogden; five grandsons: Gabe Salzer, Zachary and Benjamin Ogden, and Jamie and Cory O’Donohue; his sister-in-law,Carolyn Levin and brother-in-law Arthur Freilich; and nieces and a nephew. He also leaves behind many dear friends from Norwalk, Denver, and Naples. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his wife Judy, and his two brothers, Chester and Syril.
In Lenox, calling hours will be Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Roche Funeral Home, located at 120 Main St. In Norwalk, burial service will take place Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, at 2 p.m. at the Independent Hebrew Society Cemetery, 135 Richards Ave, Norwalk.