Morton J. Singer, 90; headed furniture store

Morton J. Singer

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Morton J. Singer, former president of the old Schweig-Engel furniture and appliance store, who later advised new businesses for the Small Business Administration, died Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 of heart disease at the Brentmoor Retirement Community in University City. He was 90 and had lived most of his life in Olivette.

Mr. Singer was a graduate of University City High School and the University of Iowa. He married Norma Levy of St. Louis in 1949 and started his business career as an insurance actuary before joining Schweig-Engel. Mr. Singer’s late father, Sam Singer, had joined the firm three years after it was founded in 1919 and became its owner in 1938.

The firm started on Delmar Boulevard near Kingshighway Boulevard and moved in 1983 to Natural Bridge Avenue and Union Boulevard. After Mr. Singer retired, relatives continued the store, which was located in Northwest Plaza when it closed in 2004. While president of the firm, Mr. Singer was known for working with people with poor credit. Early in its existence, the firm became known as a sponsor of Cardinals baseball broadcasts on WEW radio station.

Following his retirement, Mr. Singer was a volunteer at the St. Louis Zoo and the Small Business Association, where he served as an adviser to new businesses.

Funeral services were held Sunday at Temple Emanuel, followed by burial at Beth Hamdedrosh Hagodol Cemetery on Ladue Road. In addition to his wife, Mr. Singer is survived by four sons, James Singer and Steve Singer, both of Clayton, Morton Singer, Jr. of Olivette and Bill Singer of Seattle; one sister, Sally Singer of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.