Morris Horwitz,a co-founder of A&M Carpet in Fresno Calif and a respected figure of the floor covering business for more than five decades, died Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Community Living Center in Fresno where he had been living since suffering a stroke three years ago. He was 84.

A native of Texas, Horwitz moved to Fresno where he and his brother Alex opened a floor covering store in the early 1940's. His work ethic and commitment to growing the business were evidenced by his willingness to go door-to-door with linoleum samples in the hope of drumming up new business. Later he would encourage employees to include their home phone number of their business cards to ensure that customers could reach them.

The two brothers closed the store in order to serve their country in WWII. Upon their return they focused on building their retail business. He retired in 1991.

His son, Lee Horwitz, who is owner and president of what is now a four-store retail operation, told NFT that he grew up learning the business from his father and learning how to treat people. "We was a very hard worker who worked well into the evenings most nights but he was also a kind and generous man who even helped him employees put a down payment on a new home."

He added that his father's stature in the business was reflected by the presence of many competitors and other members of the floor covering industry at funeral services held Sept. 6. Beth Israel Cemetery in Fresno. "That meant a lot to me and it was a reflection of how much respect people have for my father," said Lee Horwitz.

Morris Horwitz served on the boards of Congregation Beth Jacob, Temple Beth Israel and the Jewish Federation. He also donated to numerous charitable causes.

He is preceded in death by a daughter, Marcia Stivers, and is survived by his wife, Marilyn; two children, Barbara Brietigam of San Diego and Lee of Fresno; and three grandchildren, Rebecca, Shelly and Matthew Horwitz. Morris Horwitz died two days after his 59th wedding anniversary.

The family has asked those who wish to commemorate Morris Horwitz to made a donation to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (