Remembering Uncle Herman Lentzner

By 1948, Herman began to suffer from Parkinson’s Disease; he died four years later on December 13, 1952 and was interred the following day at Hillside Memorial Park. He was 69 years old. Tillie died 17 years later on December 11, 1969 and was entombed next to Herman. Part of the fortune accumulated by Herman became the basis of the Tillie and Herman Lentzner Trust. The USC Law Center reported a donation from the Lentzner Trust during the school year ending June 30, 1995.

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Tillie and Herman Lentzner

Donald Bonar remembers his uncle, Herman Lentzner:

“Herman was a fantastic individual.  Had no schooling whatsoever, and yet he was able to build birdcages with meticulous care.  All the mitering was to perfection.  He made planters and various other items.  Herman loved to go to movies.  I remember seeing Dual in the Sun with him at one of the downtown theaters.  Might have been the Million Dollar. He also owned the northwest corner of Western Ave & Hollywood Blvd. that was leased to a hot dog stand for 99 years, along with the California Bank Building that became Precision Motors and then a production company.  The building was on the south side of Hollywood Blvd. just east of Wilton Ave.  It’s the one with the spiral tower and marble base.  Herman also owned a vacant lot on Wilshire Blvd.” (May 2008)

Debbie Enders, Herman Lentzner’s great niece, remembers him and his wife, Tillie Wyman:

“I went with my dad to visit Tillie at the end. I told Michael [McTeer] that I remember a large Spanish-style house, a black lady caregiver/housekeeper right out of the old movies, an ancient, dusty black Cadillac in the garage, a large aviary, a large koi fish pond and Tillie, under white sheets, sunken, thin and moaning. I don’t know if she knew we were there. I picture that this house was in Hancock Park, but I don’t know for certain, having been so young. But for the type of house it was, it didn’t appear to be located in Beverly Hills.

When I was young, my dad had a millinery shop (called “Ronnie”, after my mom) and then opened another (not open for very long called “Debbie” after me!) I have the feeling Herman was responsible for setting him up in business.” (June 2008)

Harold Koplowitz, grandson of Herman Lentzner’s sister Brucha, related the following:

According to Koplowitz lore, when Herman was running one of his stores, in either St. Louis or L.A., when a customer would look at an item of clothing and say he or she didn’t like it, Herman would take the clothing and throw it out the window of the store, which was on an upper floor. Unknown to the customer, Herman would have an employee  down on the street to grab the item and return it to stock.



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