Richard S. Meyer, 96, retired ad executive

Richard S. Meyer
Richard S. Meyer
Posted: September 09, 2011

Richard S. Meyer, 96, of Melrose Park, a retired department store advertising executive who restored vintage telephones, died Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Abramson Center for Jewish Life in Horsham.

Mr. Meyer began his career at 15, working in the advertising office at the Hecht Co. in Washington, his hometown.

During World War II, he worked for Martin Aircraft in Maryland.

After the war, he did advertising for Lansburgh & Bro. in Washington before returning to Hecht's as advertising manager in 1948.

In 1951, Mr. Meyer was awarded a gold medal by the National Retail Dry Goods Association for excellence in public service advertising, his son Marshall said.

Mr. Meyer moved to Philadelphia in 1955 to be sales promotion director for N. Snellenburg & Co. When the store closed in 1962, he became sales promotion director for Lit Bros.

From 1966 to 1973, he was sales promotion director and then vice president of sales for Gimbel Bros. in New York City. He was widely recognized for his creative approach to merchandising, including organizing after-hours costume parties for the 16-to-25 age group, his son said.

Mr. Meyer was vice president for sales promotion for Gimbels in Philadelphia from 1973 until 1977. After retiring, he was briefly involved in the publication of All in Style, a local fashion and lifestyle magazine.

For years, until he was well into his 80s, Mr. Meyer restored vintage phones, including antique models with cranks, his son said. He sold the phones, complete with histories and installation instructions, at Kilian's Hardware in Chestnut Hill and other retail outlets.

Mr. Meyer was married for 59 years to Mildred Warner Meyer. She died in 1997. In 1998 he married Frances Gann Taylor.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by his son Richard Jr., a brother, two grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

A service will be private.


Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

 

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