Beverly Tarnopol, 77, fur retailer

Beverly Tarnopol
Beverly Tarnopol
Posted: June 23, 2014

Beverly Sendrow Tarnopol, 77, of Mount Laurel, owner with her husband, Sheldon, of the former Philadelphia and Lower Merion retailer Tarnopol Furs, died Thursday, June 19, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, after a fall.

Mrs. Tarnopol, known as Buni, was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Overbrook High School in 1954.

A son, Neil, said that Sheldon Tarnopol's grandfather Max began the business, first in Russia, then in New York City.

Between the early 1900s and the 1950s, Tarnopol Furs was at 16th and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia, before moving in 1956 to the City Line Shopping Center in Philadelphia.

The business moved in 1991 to Montgomery Avenue in Bala Cynwyd and was sold in 2002 to the Zinman fur retailing firm, which opened Zinman-Tarnopol across from the Ardmore Farmers' Market.

As part of the merger, the Tarnopols agreed to close their Montgomery Avenue shop and run the new Zinman store. They retired about five years after the merger, their son said.

Mrs. Tarnopol was responsible not only for marketing and advertising at the business' various locations, her son said. "She was in charge of all the fashion" choices, he said, "when they would go on trips to New York and Montreal, every year.

"They had to do a buying trip to stock the store, and she would pick out the furs."

Her son emphasized that "it was crucial to their success that she would pick out the styles that people wanted."

As fashions changed, the Tarnopols adapted, he said.

Because younger shoppers "were a little more antifur, she went toward getting more fur-lined coats into the store that people were interested in" - that is, fur inside the coats, non-fur materials outside.

In each location, he said, his mother was the model.

"Whenever a husband or boyfriend wanted to surprise" the women in their lives with a fur, Mrs. Tarnopol was the one to show it off well. "A classy lady," her son said.

"She also ran numerous fashion shows for charities every year, in Philadelphia and South Jersey," he said. And to make the experience memorable, "she always used people in the audience to model the furs."

Besides her husband and son, Mrs. Tarnopol is survived by another son, Jeffrey; three grandchildren; and two stepgrandchildren.

A visitation was set from 10 a.m. Sunday, June 22, at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill, before a 10:30 a.m. funeral there.

Donations may be sent to a charity of one's choice.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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