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BY ALBERT AMATEAU | Milton Lewis, who ran the family children’s clothing store on Bleecker St. in the heart of the Village until he retired in 1992, died Tues., July 18, in his home in Great Neck, Long Island, at the age of 91.
As a boy, he began working in the store, founded by his father at 264 Bleecker St., where the family made their home in the apartment upstairs.
“He was practically raised in the store,” said his son, David Lewis. “People still remember him. I look like him and people in the neighborhood still stop me and ask about him. They say, ‘He dressed me and my children,’ ” his son said.
He was born in 1919 to Bernard Lefkowitz, who opened the store in 1918, and Egle Lefkowitz. His father was born in Hungary and his mother was born Egle Piperno in Livorno, Italy, to a family of Italian Jews. They met in the Village and worked side by side in the store.
“My grandmother was known as Mary to customers,” his son recalled.
“My father enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1942 and was discharged in 1945 at the end of the war,” his son said. Milton changed his name from Lefkowitz to Lewis when he returned to civilian life and the family business. He married Camille Cocozziello, also born and raised in the Village.
In addition to his son, David, his wife, of Great Neck, also survives, as do two daughters, Joan Levine and Carole Gagliano, both of Long Island. Eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren also survive.
Riverside Funeral Home of Great Neck was in charged of arrangements. Burial was Wed., July 19, in the Piperno family plot in Mt. Neboh Cemetery in Queens.