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Stanley Muffs, 88, businessman and traveler

Stanley Muffs, 88, of Erdenheim, a business owner and adventurous traveler, died of heart failure Wednesday, May 26, at home.

Stanley Muffs, 88, of Erdenheim, a business owner and adventurous traveler, died of heart failure Wednesday, May 26, at home.

Mr. Muffs operated his family's printing firm and a typeset factory until the mid-1970s, when he became a vintage-furniture seller and refinisher.

He bought an old storefront building on Main Street in Manayunk, which was years away from becoming the restaurant and shopping mecca it is today, his wife, Ruth Kugleman Muffs, said.

"I walked into the building, looked up, and saw the sky," she said. Mr. Muffs renovated an apartment on the third floor and used the first two floors for his business. He and his wife bought inexpensive items at country auctions and he would refinish them, she said.

Mr. Muffs, who also offered classes in refinishing, sold pieces that fell somewhere between antiques and used furniture, which explained the name of the store, Almost Antiques.

In the late 1980s, Mr. Muffs sold his business to satisfy his wanderlust. Over the next 20 years, he and his wife visited 78 countries and took road trips across the United States.

He shunned organized tours, preferring to discover places on his own, his wife said. The exceptions were their first trip to China, in 1987, and a trip to Tanzania, where he had to pitch his own tent.

He preferred cities - no matter how gritty - to the countryside. His favorite country was India, his wife said. He framed a favorite quote by Robert Louis Stevenson: "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go." An accomplished photographer, he had 23,000 edited slides from his journeys, which he showed at presentations he gave at nursing homes in the area.

At home, he rode a motorcycle until he was 80 and loved watching his grandchildren play baseball.

A native of West Philadelphia, Mr. Muffs attended West Philadelphia High School, where he was on the swim team. He graduated from Bok Vocational School.

During World War II, he was stationed in India with the Army Air Force and flew on B-25 bombing missions as a gunner and Morse-code operator. He received the Air Medal.

In addition to his wife of 35 years, Mr. Muffs is survived by daughters Susan Bieber and Linda Graynor; stepchildren Lisa Zoller and Ken Dash; 10 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and his former wife, Elaine Holtzman. His daughter Michelle Burt died in 2006.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 30, at Joseph Levine & Son, 7112 N. Broad St.