MIRIAM OXMAN, 95 of Buena Park, California, passed away November 18, 2017. She started a mail-order business at Rosecrans and Valley View Streets in Santa Fe Springs in 1961 with her husband Jerome Oxman.
“Oxman’s Surplus became a landmark in Southern California for its extraordinary military museum, war memorabilia, and surplus military sales to the public.
Miriam Averbook was born August 26, 1922 in Superior, Wisconsin, and married Jerome Oxman of Duluth, Minnesota, in 1947. The couple came to California on their honeymoon and never went back.
Together, Mr. and Mrs. “O” created “Oxman’s Surplus, which grew into a sprawling military surplus outlet and a military museum. Miriam established a military-themed cafe in the store, featuring hot dogs, chicken nuggets and MREs, the military ready-to-eat meals that soldiers eat on the battlefield.
Even in her 90’s Mrs. O was a fixture in the store, coming to work every day to be with the customers who cherished and loved her. Veterans from all over the world came to the store, for treasured memorabilia which was impossible to find anywhere else. Miriam got such a kick out of serving customers.
Miriam and her late husband, Jerome Oxman, started the museum historical collection in 1950 when he bought a discarded B-29 Bomber Norden Bombsight for $9.80, which is still in the store. Now containing about 1,600 items, the collection includes fighter jet ejection seats, a heat-seeking missile tip, a B-17 cockpit, a 1940s land mine, a pair of “minefield walking shoes,” a funnel-like “fighter pilot relief tube,” and a B-29 Bomber engine.
The Museum is actually the entrance to the store, and there is no charge to see it.
Miriam Oxman with her late husband Jerome was honored on the field at Dodger Stadium for 48 years of Little League Baseball Sponsorship. She gave museum tours to schools, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Young Marines. She supported many youth organizations.
Miriam Oxman was active in Women’s American ORT, Temple Bet Ohr in La Mirada, the La Mirada and Santa Fe Springs Chambers of Commerce, Meals on Wheels, and Associated Surplus Dealers. Miriam Oxman’s survivors include her sons Murray, Brian, and Jason; sister Phyllis Sarto and Barbara Snyder; four grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.
Miriam Oxman loved her family, her Jewish heritage, her country, and every day she spent in the store. The family plans to continue operating Oxman’s Surplus, where a memorial will be held.