Private services have been held in Miami for Samuel Gonson, 89, founder and longtime owner of City Mattress Co. in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
He died May 16, 1989, in Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass., after a brief illness. Burial was in Miami.
Gonson was 18 and had just graduated from a boarding school in the Ukrainian city of Uman in 1918 when he fled Russia during a pogrom against Jews and others. He made his way penniless to Argentina, where he had a series of jobs, including working as a laborer on construction of the Argentine railroad. He also worked as a mattress-maker there.
When he and other members of his family came to Buffalo in the mid-1920s, his experience in mattress-making got him a job with Barcalo of Buffalo, manufacturer of the Barcalounger and other upholstered products.
He founded City Mattress and operated it from 1930 to 1965, when he and his wife, Laura, retired to Miami Beach. She died there in 1974.
He is survived by two sons, Paul of Washington and Donald of Boston; two sisters, Tanie Paul of Buffalo and Helen Tennenbaun of Cincinnati, and four grandchildren.