Martin H. Lorber, 93, of Cherry Hill, co-owner of J. Lorber Co., a plumbing supply firm, died of heart failure Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Cadbury at Cherry Hill, a retirement community.

Mr. Lorber grew up in the Logan section of Philadelphia. He dropped out of Northeast High School to help his father, Joseph, who established J. Lorber Co. in North Philadelphia in 1918.

During World War II, Mr. Lorber served in the Army, posted in Florida.

After his discharge, he graduated from Temple University High School and returned to J. Lorber. He helped expand the firm, opening and operating a branch for several years in Washington, daughter Ellen said.

The wholesale plumbing and heating supply company now has facilities in Pennsauken and Bensalem.

"He never retired," his daughter said. He and his wife, Shirley, who was his assistant, were still going into the Bensalem office every day until last month.

His brother Edwin and other family members will continue to run the company.

Mr. Lorber and his wife married in 1951 after meeting on a blind date. "He picked me up in a red convertible," she said. The couple enjoyed the ballet, musical theater, and the Philly Pops.

Mr. Lorber played tennis in his youth and was an enthusiastic gardener. He enjoyed reading history, biographies, and the daily newspaper.

He was devoted to his extended family, and his granddaughter and only grandchild, Annarose Klinger, "was the light of his life," his daughter said.

In addition to his wife, daughter, brother, and granddaughter, Mr. Lorber is survived by daughter Nancy.

A funeral will be at noon Friday, Dec. 6, at Joseph Levine & Sons Funeral Home, 4737 Street Rd., Trevose. Burial will be in Mount Sharon Chapel, Springfield, Delaware County.

Donations may be made to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Inc., 355 Lexington Ave., 15th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10017, or at www.myasthenia.org.

sdowney@phillynews.com

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