Janet Rosengarten Niederman, 90, retired co-owner of a record-manufacturing company in Philadelphia and a founding member of the Suburban Jewish Community Center in Havertown, died of emphysema Tuesday at Long Beach Medical Center on Long Island, N.Y.
Mrs. Niederman grew up at the Jersey Shore and graduated from Atlantic City High School. During World War II, she worked in Philadelphia for a milliner and met her husband, Nathan Niederman, a songwriter, on a blind date. He was in the Navy and stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
In 1944 a song he wrote, "GI Wish," became a hit for Vaughn Monroe; after the war, it was renamed "Gee I Wish." Though he would later write lyrics to other hit songs, when he and Mrs. Niederman married in 1946 they decided to start a business to provide a livelihood, said their son, Alan.
They established the Clarion Record Manufacturing Co., and at first they pressed 78-r.p.m. discs in plastic. After RCA developed the technology, Clarion was one of the first independents to press vinyl 45s, their son said.
Mrs. Niederman kept the company's books and did the payroll. The firm made records for ABC-Paramount, whose singers included Paul Anka. It also pressed records for local talents, including Danny and the Juniors. Nathan Niederman sent the group's "At the Hop" to ABC, and it became a hit.
In 2006, Mrs. Niederman received a royalty check for "Gee I Wish" after the song was used in the documentary film
Why We Fight
, about the growth of the military-industrial complex.
Mrs. Niederman and her husband raised three children in Delaware County, and founded the Suburban Jewish Community Center in Havertown in the 1950s.
In 1977 she and her husband retired. After he died in 1980, she moved to Center City.
For the last 18 months she had lived at Park Avenue Extended Care in Long Beach, N.Y. She was very social and loved people, her son said. She read two or three novels a week, he said, and kept up with current events.
In addition to her son, Mrs. Niederman is survived by daughters Linda Silver and Ronnie and a granddaughter.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. today at Montefiore Cemetery, 600 Church Rd., Rockledge.