Lawrence W. Gunzberg, 82, retired president and chief operating officer of M. Wile & Co., died Wednesday (July 23, 1997) under Hospice care in Buffalo General Hospital after a lengthy illness.
A grandson of Mayer Wile, the German immigrant who founded the company in 1877, Gunzberg joined the business in 1936 and served in a number of capacities before becoming executive vice president in 1957, overseeing all manufacturing operations at the company's plants in Buffalo and Dunkirk.
A year after the company was sold to Hart, Schaffner & Marx, now Hartmarx, in 1969, he became president, succeeding his brother, Arthur, who became board chairman. He became vice chairman after stepping down as president in 1981. Both Gunzberg brothers retired in 1985.
M. Wile was a private-label manufacturer for many years, making men's suits under store labels. Under Hartmarx, it established labeled lines of Johnny Carson and Nino Cerruti apparel.
Born in Buffalo, Gunzberg attended Lafayette High School and Penn State University.
He was a vice president of Temple Beth Zion and was active in the temple's rebuilding drive in the 1960s. He was a member of the board of directors of the Buffalo Jewish Federation and president of the Buffalo Foundation of Jewish Philanthropies. He also was a former president of Westwood Country Club and was active in the Boy Scouts and Camp Lakeland.
Noted as an amateur metal sculptor, he made figures and Judaica for friends and family. Before his retirement, he made miniature men duplicating the various jobs in the M. Wile plant, using scrap materials from the factory.
He and Joan Holender were married in 1941.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Margery Ehrlich of Boca Raton, Fla., and Nancy of Santa Barbara, Calif.; his brother, Arthur of Nashville, Tenn.; and three grandchildren.
Services will be scheduled.