2017-03-01 / Obituaries

Rose Weiss, 87, co-founder of Viking Furniture

Rose Weiss, 87, co-founder of retailer Viking Casual Furniture in Cherry Hill, passed away on Feb. 3 after a long battle with cancer. Viking Furniture is now located in Maple Shade. Rose truly enjoyed the furniture business and co-ran the business and worked until she was 85 years old. She always looked forward to going to work and drove her car until she was 85. Rose’s husband of over 50 years, Marvin Weiss, was founder of retailer Viking Casual Furniture. He passed away in 2014.

Marvin Weiss opened his first business, a discount toy store called Toy Riot, in 1955 that sold all 88-cent toys. Toy Riot evolved into Viking Casual Furniture when he began selling patio furniture in addition to toys.

“Marv was a self-made man, who started his business in 1955 with $500 he saved while serving in the U.S. military for nearly a decade. Marvin was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the Korean War, when Cuba was an exciting place to be with casinos and a vibrant nightlife which dad always enjoyed. In the toy business he had the concept of selling everything—toys, tools, housewares—for 88 cents,” Rose Weiss once said. A competitor came in and sold the same sort of stock for 68 cents, so they began selling rattan and redwood furniture.

In 1965, they sold off the toys and began Viking Casual Furniture. Son Stuart took over the business in 1986.

Rose and Marvin Weiss did not only sell furniture, they also volunteered to help immigrant families from Russia, Vietnam, and other countries by donating and delivering furniture to new immigrants in need of furniture for their first apartments in the U.S. If a house burned down, they made a point of donating kitchen sets to those in need, said daughter Robin Weiss.

Rose and Marvin enjoyed going to the beach in Ventnor City, where they enjoyed their beach house, and Atlantic City, traveling the world, and going antiquing. They collected postcards from Camden, some dating back to the 1800s.

Rose Weiss is survived by her daughters, Robin Weiss and Nancy Aronson (Wayne Aronson); son Stuart; two grandchildren, and three step-grandchildren. 

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