Posted on

Obituary: Erich Arje Industry career spanned half a century

BOCA RATON, FLA.—He spent 35 of his 51 years in the flooring business as chairman of the Floor Covering Division of the Anti-Defamation League and in that capacity staged numerous banquets honoring many executives and industry leaders. He was passionate about causes and most enthusiastic about his job. He began as a salesman, eventually became an executive and later formed his own business. Living in Florida after his retirement, he fell recently in a parking lot, sustaining injuries from which he developed pneumonia and resulted in congestive heart failure. He died on March 24 at age 88.

Arje worked in the family butcher shop until the outbreak of World War II, when he enlisted in the Army and served as manager of a PX and night club in London and Germany. He was discharged in 1945 and returned to the butcher shop. He soon tired of the meat business and sold it. Contemplating a new field, he found a job as a salesman with a small local flooring distributor. In 1954, he joined Aldon Rug Mills’ sales force and later became its New York regional sales manager. After 15 years, he left Aldon for an executive position with Metroflor in Plainview, N.Y., which later became Metro- Mosaics.

In 1983, Arje and his brother- in-law, David Shapiro, formed a sales agency, Arje-Shapiro, The partnership was sold four years later and Arje worked on his own three or four days a week until he fully retired in 2005. Jean Cherof, a longtime indus- try friend, said. “Erich will be remembered not only for his scrupulous work record and his caring and concern for others, but the countless hours and endless days he devoted to the Anti-Defamation League and its fundraising needs. He will be missed.”

Survivors include a daughter, Stefanie Feiller (Dana) of Omaha, Neb.; sons, Marc (Allie) of Queens, and Roy (Sonia) of Fort Lee, N.J.; two grandchildren, Aaron and Jessica Wood, and two great grandchildren. His wife, Estelle, predeceased him in October of 2008.