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Isidoro Irving “Pancho” Greenblum, age 93, passed away on September 29, 2022. He lived intelligently, as a risk-taker, and dedicated to his family and community. He was scrappy and liked making people laugh, living life by one of his favorite dichos, “Que mala hierba nunca muere.” (“A tough weed always survives.”) He was a natural story-teller and teacher, often sharing another of his favorite dichos, “Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres.” (Tell me who you hang out with, and I’ll tell you what kind of a person you are.”)
He was preceded in death by his parents Morris and Rebeca Greenblum and his sister Hannah Singer, refugees and immigrants from Eastern Europe to Mexico. He is survived by: his brother Leo; his loving wife of 72 years, Shirley; son Jeff and grandson William; son Gary (Desiree Koome) and grandchildren Max, Hannah and Sunny; son Brad (Jennifer Frankfurt), granddaughter Aly (Brandon Phillips) and great-grandchildren
Miller, Sophia and Juliette Phillips, and grandchildren Coco (Michael Vernon), and Gavin; son Robbie and grandchildren Shoshana, Yael, and Ziva; and “adopted” son Dr. Arie Salzman.
Born and raised first in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, and then in Laredo, Texas, Irving took great pride in being a citizen of “Los Dos Laredos.” He was extremely honored to have graduated from Martin High School, and then decades later be named a Tiger Living Legend. In 1950, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) with a degree in Latin American Economics. While at UT, he served as President and
Treasurer of Tau Delta Phi, a Jewish fraternity. Months later, he married Shirley Jean Katz and they resided in Dallas, Texas for 10 years before moving back to Laredo. Once residing in Laredo, Texas, he joined his father, brother and brother-in-law at Mueblerías México, SA in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a successful furniture business that lasted over 60 years.
Irving was most proud of participating as a member of the IBC Board of Directors for forty years. And he was no regular board member. He traveled extensively to Mexico and throughout Texas promoting IBC at business events and social gatherings. He recruited customers relentlessly and infectiously. There are few people that could so seamlessly conduct business and interact socially in perfectly fluent Spanish and English, in Mexico and in the United States, at such high levels. Most importantly, he considered himself part of the IBC team and treated his colleagues like family.
Irving was dedicated to improving the Laredo community. He was the Founding Board Member and served as the first President for five years of the Laredo Area Community Foundation, whose primary function is to make local charitable giving easy. In 1944, Irving served as an originating member of the DeMolay Masonic Children’s chapter in Laredo. He was then instrumental in installing the first DeMolay Masonic chapter in Monterrey, Mexico.
Irving also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Laredo Children’s Museum, the Ruth B Cowl Rehabilitation Center and the San Antonio Manor Home for the Aged.
He created a scholarship at Martin High School for immigrant students attending college. He donated vehicles to Martin High School’s vocational training program.
Irving was also dedicated to the Jewish community. He worked tirelessly as the Co-Chairman of the Laredo Bonds of Israel from 1973-2003. He served as treasurer of Congregation Agudas Achim from 1961-1974, and continued for decades more as a member of the Board of Directors.
In 2006, Irving was installed as a Laredo Business Hall of Fame Laureate. In 2013, he was honored by Catholic Social Services of Laredo and the Diocese of Laredo.
Funeral services will be conducted graveside at the Jewish Rest section of the Laredo City Cemetery, 3601 N. Meadow Ave on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 11:30 am.
Zoom Meeting Video will be broadcast at 11:30 A.M. Link/Zoom Information provided by Congregation.
Meeting ID: 517 769 2397
Pallbearers will be: Gavin Greenblum, Max Greenblum, Peter Greenblum, Richard Greenblum, Larry Norton, Robert Norton, Brandon Phillips, Dr. Arie Salzman, and Michael Vernon; and Honorary Pallbearers will be: Ike Epstein, Leo Greenblum and Dennis Nixon.
Robert Norton, Larry Norton, and Gene Burgess shared years of friendship with Irving, including tireless care and companionship during the last few years of Irving’s life.
The Greenblum family is incredibly grateful to caregiver Sofia Rodriguez and her team for their dedication and support. Please make any contributions in honor of Irving Greenblum to the Laredo Area Community Foundation; or to Congregation Agudas Achim in Laredo.
You may express your condolences, share your favorite memories, and sign the guestbook online at: https://www.hillsidefuneral.com/
Arrangements are under the direction of Hillside Funeral Home, 310 Hillside Rd., Laredo, TX 78041, 956.724.6060
There are no gallery images.
Sunday, October 2, 2022
Starts at 11:30am (Central time)
City of Laredo Cemetery
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