Rose Weiss, 87, co-founder of retailer Viking Casual Furniture, passed away Feb. 3 after a long battle with cancer.
Weiss was passionate about the furniture business — so much so that one of her final wishes was to die at work on the job. Weiss co-ran the business, which she started with her late husband of 50 years, Marvin, who died in 2014, and worked until she was 85.
In 1965, the pair started Viking Casual Furniture, which formed after Marvin Weiss moved away from his first business, a discount toy store called Toy Riot that sold 88 cent toys. In 1977, Viking was relocated to Maple Shade and later moved to Cherry Hill in 1986.
Weiss’ son, Stuart, later took over and he relocated the business to its current location in Maple Shade, N.J.
“When we started, it was just a redwood table and two benches,” Rose Weiss once said of the company’s humble beginnings.
Rose and Marvin Weiss took their passion for selling furniture one step further. They helped immigrant families from Russia, Vietnam and other countries by donating and delivering furniture to new immigrants in need for their first apartments in the U.S.
“If a house burned down, they made a point of donating kitchen sets to those in need,” daughter Robin Weiss said.
With her husband, Weiss enjoyed going down the shore to Ventnor City, where they had a beach house, and Atlantic City. They enjoyed traveling the world and going antiquing. They collected postcards, with some dating back to the 1800s.
Rose Weiss is survived by her daughters, Robin Weiss and Nancy Aronson (Wayne Aronson); son Stuart Weiss; two grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.