Auerbach, Founder of Northwest, Recalled

Services were held Friday, Nov. 14 for Shay Auerbach, 82, co-founder and chairman of The Northwest Company, who died Nov. 11 of cancer.

Auerbach, the son of Russian immigrants, founded the company in 1985 with his sons, Glenn and Ross, after a lifetime in many facets of the textile industry, from men's clothing to importing double knits, as well as a brief retirement.

In that time frame, the company grew to be the largest manufacturer and licensee in decorative throws, with sales of more than $100 million. As a philanthropist, the Northwest Company supports 100 charitable organizations.

Auerbach is survived by his wife Fran, his sons, four grandchildren and three sisters. His late wife Florence died in 2001.

Industry player Peter McCabe, now with the company but previously with Biederlack, remarked, "As a former competitor and now an employee, I've had a great deal of respect for him and what he and his sons have accomplished. By all definitions, he was an industry giant — there aren't many left. I always enjoyed Shay as a competitor."

For longtime industry sales executive Peter Gallagher, "Shay was a well respected competitor, responsible for developing licensing to an art form where both customers and manufacturer could make a profit."

Following funeral services at Temple Beth Shalom in Roslyn Heights, the interment ceremony was performed at Locust Valley Cemetery. A brunch and gathering for the beginning of Shiva was held at Old Westbury Golf & Country Club. Shiva will be held through Wednesday at Auerbach's home, 24 Fairview Avenue in Roslyn.

Contributions in his memory can be sent to the Shay Auerbach Memorial Fund, 49 Bryant Ave., Roslyn, NY, 11576.

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See the May 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we discuss our annual Market Basket survey, which finds higher prices and more polyester at leading retailers. See details!