Isidore “Izzy” Charles Myers was born in the Bronx, New York, on December 17, 1916 and died peacefully at his home in Newport Beach, on May 20, at the age of 96 after a short illness. He was a devoted son, World War II veteran, husband, father, grandfather, life-long entrepreneur and active member of the Newport Beach and Orange County Jewish communities. According to Myers, “To build a Jewish community, you need to put a face on leaders so people will emulate them. We need more role models. You want to have Jewish people looked up to.”
A productive member of America’s greatest generation, Myers loved his country, because it provided opportunity for his immigrant family to succeed far beyond all expectation. His father arrived in New York City from Poland in 1908 and then moved the family to Akron, Ohio, in 1919. To help support the family, Myers started earning money by selling newspapers on a downtown Akron street corner at age six. He graduated from the University of Akron in June 1939 with a B.A. in business administration and joined his brothers in a small used-tire and tire supply business. his small business became the core of what is today Myers Industries, Inc., a NYSE-traded corporation.
Myers served in the U.S. Army during World War II was honorably discharged in January 1946. He met Penny Weiner on May 30, 1946, in New York City on a blind date. They were married in February 1947. Together they raised a family and lived happily for 56 years until Penny’s death in 2003.
A four-day visit to Orange County in 1973 changed the couple’s life. They moved to Southern California and made it their new home. Beginning a new career at age 56 in industrial real estate, Myers ran his new company, I.C. Myers Properties, Inc. (today known as Myers-Erickson Properties, Inc.) in growth by regularly acquiring industrial properties in Orange County.
In the early 1990s his focus changed to “giving back.” He and his wife established the ICM-PWM Foundation to benefit philanthropic, educational, religious, medical and social welfare organizations.
Myers captured his love of life and people through his camera lenses and in the pages of two self-published memoirs. The first of these journals, a true labor of love, chronicles the fate of his parents’ families in Poland and Russia during the Holocaust, and the other tells the story of his own family through the generations. His words and his many generous philanthropic contributions are a reflection of his appreciation for the historical heritage of the Jewish people and the need to continue to foster Jewish identity and culture for generations to come.
In 2001 when Penny was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and given a prognosis of two years to live, Myers retired from all further business activity and devoted his life to Penny’s care until her death. His subsequent years were full of friends, family and life.
Myers was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Penny; brothers, Myer and Lou Myers; and sister, Goldie Singer. His two sons, their wives, and five grandchildren along with three nieces, three nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and one great-grandniece survive him.
Donations in Myers’ honor will be appreciated by either Save Our Youth, 661 Hamilton Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 or the Isidore C. & Penny W. Myers Endowment Fund, c/o the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County, 1 Federation Way – Suite 210, Irvine, CA 92603-0174.
Sandra Spitzer, age 69, of Tustin, passed away on Wednesday, May 15. Born on November 18, 1943, in Lakewood, she was the daughter of the late Albert and Mary Hasson on November 18, 1943.
Raised in Southern California, Spitzer graduated from Tustin High School in 1962 and attended Long Beach State. She was a lifelong member of Temple Beth Sholom where she was actively involved with Sisterhood. She was active in many other philanthropic groups, such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Spitzer grew up in the floral industry at the family owned Hasson’s Flower Shop, where she learned the industry and eventually became known for her creative talent and savvy business sense. She loved to cook and entertain and would teach anyone who would listen about Sephardic food, how to cook it and all the traditions which went with the Sephardic heritage.
Spitzer is survived by her husband, Howard, of 50 years; her three daughters, Lisa, Mary and Grace; sons-in-law, Jose and David; and four grand-children, Amanda, Joshua, Julia and Adam.