Obituary - ROUBEN SAMI


February 8, 2019

Rouben Sami, age 97, of Winter Park, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, at Westminster Towers – Winter Park. A New York City native, he was born on Aug. 15, 1921, to the late Samuel and Regina Bivas Sami.

He was a college graduate and worked as a civil engineer prior to being inducted into the U.S. Army at Camp Huckstep in Egypt. During his military career, partially due to his fluency in a number of languages, he became one of the famous Monument Men who repatriated hundreds of pieces of artwork and books stolen by the Nazis. He was the last surviving member of the team.

Following his separation from the Army, he returned to the States and married the former Lena (Lee) Benmayor, who was the love of his life until her passing in March 2016. While living and working in New York, the family grew to four, with the birth of their daughter, Renee, and later their son, Steven. The family relocated to Ormond Beach, where Rouben went into business on his own, later moving to the Orlando area and becoming members of Temple Israel.

He is survived by his son, Steven of Orlando, and daughter, Renee of Winter Park, and grandson, Antonio Tejeda of Lake Mary. He is further survived by his brother Jack of Orlando and sister, Betty Begas of Hallandale. In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by his brother, David, and granddaughter, Liza.

A graveside service was held at Temple Israel Cemetery, with Rabbi Joshua Neely officiating. Arrangements entrusted to Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel, 640 Lee Road, Orlando 32810. 407-599-1180.


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