GALVESTON — Love of family and friends, his business and Galveston Island, his endless sense of humor and generous nature all characterized Meyer “Col. Bubbie” Reiswerg, who passed away peacefully at home Thursday, May 7, 2009, surrounded by family and friends. Meyer was born in Galveston on May 7, 1932, and graduated from Ball High School. He went on to attend the University of Texas in Austin before returning to Galveston to work in the family business and start his own family.
Meyer "Col. Bubbie" Reiswerg
J Levy & Termini Funeral Home
In 1972, Meyer and his wife, Suzie, founded Col. Bubbie’s Strand Surplus Senter, now internationally known for its eclectic and authentic military surplus. He was highly respected by his peers in the surplus industry, and went on to earn the title of Surplus Dealer of the Year of the Associated Surplus Dealers Association. The Colonel’s reputation became so renowned that he was featured on the David Letterman show, where he easily upstaged the host with his quick wit. To date, Strand Surplus Senter remains the longest-running, single-owner business on the Strand.
His larger-than-life personality became one of the biggest attractions of his store, and it provided everyone who knew him-family, friends and customers-with constant laughter and smiles. You might not agree with him, but you could still laugh with him. “What’s goin’ on, Bubbie?” was his greeting to all.
Outside of the store, Meyer loved to travel, most especially to New York City and Italy, which easily accommodated his sense of adventure, love of food and shopping, and quality time with his close friends and family. Among his favorite traveling companions were his dear friends, Kay and Bruce Leipzig, Charlotte and Stanley Levy, and Mary Kay and Paulie Gaido.
Over the years, Meyer served on numerous boards and committees as part of his affection for, and commitment to Galveston. He was a member and two-term chairman of the Parks Board. He was one of the original founders, along with his wife, of the Strand Merchants’ Association, now the Downtown Historic Partnership and the Cruise Terminal Committee. He was also a Ball High Sports Booster, member of the Toastmasters International and a lifetime Lions Club International member. Outspoken and determined, he never backed down in the face of a good fight, especially when it came to doing what he thought was best for the city he loved.
Meyer was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Helen Reiswerg; his son Mark Reiswerg, and his sister Sarah Reiswerg Levy.
Meyer is survived by his wife of 36 years, Suzie; their daughter Erin; daughter Marilyn Descours and husband Luc; daughter Claire Reiswerg; daughter-in-law Rosalee Reiswerg; daughter Anne Reiswerg; son, David Reiswerg; and grandchildren Emmanuelle Descours; Justin, Seth and Ofelia Reiswerg and Rebecca and Rachel Reiswerg.
Graveside services will be held on Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 12 noon at Congregation B’nai Israel Cemetery, 61st and Avenue T, Galveston, Texas, with Rabbi James Kessler officiating.
The family wishes to thank Meyer’s caretakers, Kim and Mitchell, and the Hospice Care Team.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to be made to the Jewish Federation, P.O. Box 146, Galveston, Texas 77553, or Hospice Care Team, 1708 Amburn Road, Suite C, Texas City, Texas 77591.