Mendel (Manny) Feuchtbaum - Aug. 8, 1913 - Feb. 29, 2004
Mendel (“Manny”) Feuchtbaum was born in Poland on August 8,1913. One of three children, he excelled in academics and athletics. He played basketball and soccer and planned to be a lawyer. He was close to his brother and sister and, throughout his life, he treasured a photo of the three of them as young adults. Mendel was into his twenties, married and the father of a young boy, when the Second World War broke out in Poland. After being taken prisoner, he served in the Russian Army for the duration of the war. Because he was Jewish and Polish, the Russians would not let him carry a gun or be on the front lines. He was put to work in mines and supply lines, keeping him away from direct combat and providing access to food and shelter. His parents, siblings, wife and son were taken to concentration camps and did not survive the Nazi Holocaust.
At the end of the war he returned to his hometown. Mendel used a bottle of whiskey to get the local mailman to tell him of his family’s fate and to give him a letter from his Aunt Rose, who was living in New Jersey. Mendel eventually immigrated and lived with Solomon Feuchtbaum’s family on a dairy farm in Woodbridge, NJ. Solomon’s daughter Bertha taught English to her second cousin and married him in 1947. By 1950, Mendel was a naturalized citizen running a chicken farm with Bertha in Englishtown. He took courses in horticulture and eventually worked for Klein’s Feed Store in Woodbridge and Bartell’s Garden Center in Clark. Mendel and Bertha returned to chicken farming in Jackson, and then, working side by side, they opened and ran the Manalapan Garden Center. After selling the store, Bertha and Mendel moved to Greenbriar II in Brick, where he had time to enjoy the activities he loved – chess, bridge, swimming, walking, pinochle, reading The New York Times and following his investments. He was very proud of the many trophies he won for duplicate bridge and chess.
After Bertha passed away in 1995, Manny settled into his apartment at Harrogate and enjoyed the many new friends he made. When ill health necessitated a move to the health care center, he learned to respect, trust and love his many caretakers. They would visit Manny often and took loving care of him. The first comment most people make about Manny is that he was a kind and gentle man. Considering the events of his life, Manny maintained a very balanced perspective, one that left no room for self-pity. One of his nurses said “They don’t make them like him any more.”
Surviving are his nieces Sandra Mitchell and Brenda Neuss, several other nieces and three nephews.
Mendel was a member of the US Chess Federation since Dec. 11, 1979 and had an Established over-the-board rating of 2017. Mendel was active with chess in New Jersey and will be sadly missed by his chess comrades.
Permission from Flynn and son Funeral Home was given to the US Chess Federation to use this obituary.