Morris Zeiger, 92, Owned Ladies’ Clothing Stores


Morris Zeiger, 92, who owned and operated retail businesses in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, died Nov. 8.

Zeiger was born in Germany, and came to the United States when he was 18 months old. He grew up in Philadelphia and worked in his parents' store to help support his family. After graduating from South Philadelphia High School, he attended Louisiana State University and Kansas State University.

One of Zeiger's first ventures was selling dresses door to door, allowing customers to pay down their purchases weekly. Later, he opened ladies clothing stores, trading as Smart Shoppes and Smiles in Vineland, Norristown, Pottstown and Philadelphia. He also dabbled in other real estate and business ventures.

The most lucrative of his locations — Smiles, at Germantown Avenue and Venango Street — is still a thriving enterprise under new management since he retired.

His son, Bruce Zeiger, owns and operates Smiles Linens on Woodland Avenue.

Zeiger was an active member of both the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and SCORE ("counselors to America's small businesses"), providing potential business owners the gift of his experience well into his 80s.

He recently established a scholarship through Hillel that helps subsidize the cost of books for college students.

He was a member of the Kraus-Pearlstein Lodge.

In addition to his son Bruce, Zeiger is survived by son Jerome M. Zeiger; sister Barbara Gershkow; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, the former Lillian Rose, and brother Leon B. Zeiger.

Contributions in her memory can be made to: The Lillian Zeiger Scholarship Fund, Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, 215 S. 39th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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