BY Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — The Rosenblatts symbolized family business for over a century and now Julie Rosenblatt, the wife of the late business owner Howard “Howie” Rosenblatt is holding a ceremony to honor her husband’s legacy.
Howard Rosenblatt, the owner of Rosenblatt’s Department Store on Maple Street, died Feb. 15 of cancer. He was 74.
Julie Rosenblatt said she and her daughter, Jennifer Gampel, purchased a two dial E Howard post clock replica to honor her late husband and will hold a dedication ceremony on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. in front of the former store.
“We wanted to do something to honor the legacy of Rosenbaltt’s and also in memory of my husband Howie,” Julie Rosenblatt said.
The clock will be facing the Green and will have the date of when the store opened and closed according to Julie Rosenblatt.
Julie Rosenblatt said she is inviting members of the community to share the moment and asking those who attend to try to wear Naugatuck garnet and gray colors due to many people who have bought clothes from the store.
Julie Rosenblatt said she kept the store open for a little while longer but it was ultimately too much to handle.
“It my was my husband’s passion,” said Julie Rosenblatt, a retired educator who still teaches part time for the Naugatuck Adult & Continuing Education program. “It would’ve been too crazy for me to try to handle it.”
Howie Rosenblatt’s grandfather, Morris Rosenblatt, started the store in 1917 and passed it on to his son, William Rosenblatt. Howie Rosenblatt eventually took over in 2005 after his father passed away.
Bill Burns, owner of the next door business, Coffee Shoppe, has purchased the store. The deal was finalized in the early fall according to Julie Rosenblatt.
The store held various clothing including Naugatuck Greyhounds gear – from onesies for the youngest Garnet and Gray fan to hoodies and sweatshirts. The store also contained other sports attire, jeans, khakis and school uniforms for students of a few local Catholic schools.
Julie Rosenblatt came up with the idea after meeting with Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess who agreed to the clock and ceremony.
Hess said Howie Rosenblatt and his entire family are quintessential Naugatuckians.
“It is important to the community to not only recognize their contributions to Naugatuck but to place a permanent reminder of the location of Rosenblatts store,” Hess said.