Samuel I. Landis, 89, and Constance Rosenfeld Landis, 88, both of Highland Park, died within six hours of each other on March 28, 2013. Sam resided at the Francis E. Parker Memorial Home in Piscataway, and Connie had spent the last three years at the adjacent Parker at Stonegate Residence. They would have been married 67 years this April.
Born Samuel Irving Berkowitz in New Brunswick, he grew up in New Brunswick and Highland Park.
Sam Landis graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1941 and enrolled in New York University before enlisting in the U.S. Army in October 1942.
He served as a Surgical Technician Fifth Grade with the 98th Portable Surgical Hospital in the Ryuku Islands of the Western Pacific and saw active duty in the Saipan and Okinawa campaigns. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his protection of an anesthetized serviceman during battle. Upon his return, the immediate family changed their last name to Landis, which approximated their original Russian family name. He enrolled in night school at Rutgers University, from which he graduated in 1953.
Connie Landis was also born in New Brunswick. She graduated from New Brunswick High School and the University of Connecticut in 1945.
The couple met in the seventh grade, when Sam launched a persistent, long-term courtship, culminating in their marriage on April 13, 1946, following his Army discharge.
As an adult, Sam held several positions in his father-in-law’s department stores, Roselles and Nathans, before purchasing the W.E. Mount & Sons Ford dealership in the mid-1950s. He moved the business, Landis Ford, to North Brunswick, where it operated for 25 years.
Sam was a prominent community leader and a dedicated supporter of a host of Central Jersey nonprofits, including United Jewish Appeal, Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Easter Seal Society, Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation of Raritan Valley, NAACP, and New Brunswick Tomorrow. He is a founder of the Easter Seals Raritan Valley Workshop and was director of the Middlesex County Community College Foundation. Connie was a lifelong member of Hadassah.
They were lifelong members of Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick.
They owned a farm in Downsville, NY, where they enjoyed horseback riding and hosting friends and family.
The couple is survived by two daughters, Andrea Landis Solomon of Chelsea, Mass., and Margery Landis of Brunswick, Maine; their son, Scott (Nina Maurer) of South Berwick, Maine; three grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a dear family friend and companion, Vester Small of New Brunswick.
Services were held at Anshe Emeth on March 29 with arrangements by Crabiel Parkwest Funeral Chapel, New Brunswick. Memorial contributions may be made to AEMT and Easter Seals Raritan Valley Workshop, both of New Brunswick, or the Middlesex County Community College Foundation.