Sid Gitterman, 83, Founder Of Kensington Boiler Firm

Posted: May 07, 1997

Sid F. Gitterman, 83, founder of Crown Boiler Co. in Kensington, died Sunday of heart failure and complications from Alzheimer's disease at his home in Aventura, Fla. He also had homes in Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

Mr. Gitterman's company built boilers for hot-water and steam-heating systems. He retired from the daily operation of the company about 1972, but he continued to own the plant until his death.

Though a successful businessman, Mr. Gitterman's heart was in show business. When he was 18, he ran away to Hollywood to become an actor, said his wife, Ethel Janoff Gitterman. After his father became sick a year or two later, he returned home to help out in his contracting business.

But over the years, he continued to perform for friends, through nine comedic characters he had created. He learned to play piano by ear and he played whenever he could. He also played violin, oboe and clarinet.

``He was a party guy,'' said his wife. ``He loved to sit at the piano all night and have his friends sing while he played.''

For about 30 years, he dressed up as Ben Franklin to appear at civic and charitable events, said his son, Fred.

After retiring, Mr. Gitterman studied acting for television commercials at the Ruth Forman Playhouse in South Florida, and appeared in a couple of commercials that were aired in Florida, his wife said.

Besides his wife and son, he is survived by daughter Sue Ellen Reinish; stepdaughters Suzanne Bergman and Andrea Kornblum; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

Graveside services will be held at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Trevose.

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