Krass Brothers Buried

Posted: May 26, 1993

They worked hard, they played pinochle on Tuesday nights, and they loved their families.

Such were the simple habits of Stacy and Russell Krass, the two businessmen in their 30s who were shot to death by robbers in their Frankford clothing store Saturday night.

More than 700 people crowded into the Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael Sacks Funeral Home yesterday to remember and say goodbye to the slain merchants.

"They put in long hours at the store, but they knew what they were doing and they prospered," said Rabbi Fred Kazan, of Temple Adath Israel, in Merion. "And they had a special sense of humor. They were fun to be with, easy to talk to and always had a good remark for everyone."

The sobs of their families rang through the funeral home as Kazan spoke to the standing-room-only crowd of friends and relatives.

The rabbi said that Russell Krass, 35, had his 11th wedding anniversary Saturday, but he had told his wife, Fay, they would celebrate later.

"There will not be any celebration. It was the day of his death," Kazan said.

The rabbi said Russell and Stacy, who grew up at 7th and Pine streets, were creatures of habit who worked long hours at the store and who played pinochle every Tuesday night.

Russell Krass left behind three sons, Samuel, 10; Eric, 7, and Zachary, 1. Stacy Krass, 37, was divorced and lived with his parents, Harry and Joan Krass, in Center City.

After the half-hour service, a procession of more than 100 cars threaded its way from the funeral home on North Broad Street to the Roosevelt Memorial Park in Trevose, where the brothers were buried.

The brothers, along with a third brother, Victor, had been optimistic businessmen who opened their first clothing store in Frankford in 1978, calling it Krass Plus. Although they thought about other careers, they had grown up close to the clothing industry and felt it was the business they knew best.

Their uncle, Ben Krass, is the founder of Krass Brothers, Store of the Stars, clothing store on South Street. Ben Krass is a familiar figure to Philadelphians as the star of campy commercials promoting the store.

The brothers were successful, and opened a second store at 69th and Market streets. Victor Krass was working at that store the night his brothers were killed.

The murders shocked Frankford, where Stacy Krass had been president of the Frankford United Merchants Association and a tireless promoter of the downtrodden area.

The killers came into the store on Saturday night and shot the brothers to death when they threatened to call police. The murderers fled with two suits. Police quickly arrested Michael Glass, 24, of Marvine Street near Venango and Jermaine Hawkins, 18, of 11th Street near York and charged them with murder.

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