William Zucker, the former co-owner of Wilmack Photography Studio and M & W Camera Shop in Buffalo, NY died Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham, MA after a brief illness. He was 90.
Mr. Zucker was born in Elbing, East Prussia on August 22, 1927. He was raised in Vladimir Volynsk (Ludmir) Poland near what is now Lvov, Ukraine, an area that frequently changed hands.
Nazis invaded the town in 1941 when William was 14 years old and he was forced into a ghetto with his family. In September 1942, Einsatzgruppen, or paramilitary Nazi death squads, liquidated the ghetto and town by massacring 18,000 Jewish people in two weeks.
This included William’s beloved mother Rachel (nee Katz) and his two sisters Sarah and Gittel, who were buried in mass graves in nearby Piyatidne Forest. Another brother, Yechiel, was presumed killed in Sokol. His father Itzhak had died of natural causes in 1941.
William escaped with his brother Chaim (“Fimka”) and eventually joined the Russian partisans to fight against the Germans.
He came to the US in 1949, after being sponsored by a friend in New Jersey and was drafted by the Army during the Korean War. After his service, he moved to Buffalo in 1957 and created a photography studio along with partner Michael Zelcer. It still exists today.
He introduced innovative dimensional flash techniques to the Buffalo market. The partners later opened up two camera shops and ran the business for 40 years.
Mr. Zucker was an avid traveler, and went to Europe, Hawaii and Alaska. He frequently visited his only remaining brother Chaim in Ramat Gan, Israel, who was a dentist there.
He also enjoyed hockey, the opera and playing the stock market as well as spending time at his properties in New York, Florida and Needham, Massachusetts. In recent years, he was a much-loved resident of Needham and member of Temple Reyim in Newton. He spoke five languages.
Mr. Zucker was married for 50 years to the former Judith Clara Balassa, who died in 2007.
Survivors include two sons, Jerry and Orrin Zucker, and four grandchildren, Benjamin, Joshua, Noah and Nate. There is also a nephew, Itzhak Zucker, of Ramat Gan Israel.
Burial was Tuesday, October 17, 2016 at 2 pm at Lindwood Cemetery in Randolph, MA.
Please consider making a donation in Mr. Zucker’s memory to the Jewish Federation Helping Holocaust Survivors at https://secure3.convio.net/