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Mervin Harold Gorelnick

Obituary for Mervin Harold Gorelnick

August 2, 1925 - April 20, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 91

He forever loved and cared for his family and his friends.


Mervin Harold Gorelnick was born in San Antonio, Texas, on August 2, 1925 to Samuel and Rachel Wittles Gorelnick. Mr. Gorelnick was the second child, born after his beloved sister, Janet. Mr. Gorelnick served in the US Navy during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Texas Austin earning a BBA in Accounting and graduating Magnum Cum Laude.

Mr. Gorelnick spent his professional life as the accountant for the family business, Central Boot Company and Shoe Repair. The family business was founded in 1913 by Samuel Gorelnick. At one time, Central Boot Company and Shoe Repair had 7 locations throughout the city. Mr. Gorelnick actively kept the books until the final store in Alamo Heights was sold in 2014. He was 88 years old at the time.

As his nieces, we want you, as his friends, to enjoy this short look back at Mervin. He loved his family and remained in San Antonio in order to stay close to them. A man of culture, Uncle Mervin visited New York City as often as possible. He loved the art, theater, opera, ballet, and museums available there. Uncle Mervin formed lifelong New York City friends.

Uncle Mervin was an avid traveler. During the 1950's, he took road trips to Mexico, California, and throughout Texas. Starting then, he also traveled extensively throughout Europe. Road trips with Pat Meeks and other friends through France and England were some of his favorite memories. Traveling at their own pace, the group did not book hotels in advance. Rather, they stopped when they were tired and sought out accommodations available. Sometimes the accommodations were as much an adventure as the sights themselves! Uncle Mervin also enjoyed trips to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Netherlands. He never missed an art gallery or museum.

Throughout his travels, Mervin collected treasured pieces of fine art, exquisite crystal, and some totally off-the-wall, eccentric folk art. The large, bizarre wooden mask with devil's face protruding through what should have been a stomach scared some of the caretakers at Brookdale so much that we had to take it down. His taste ran from the finest works to ludicrous. That's what made Mervin so special. He was not predictable.

Everyone who knew Mervin were familiar with his astounding wit. His humor was so dry it was parched! While some consider the pun the lowest form of humor, those people never were at the receiving end of one of his exquisitely honed pun. They "eeeewwwws" the jokes elicited are legendary. We all loved them.

As a Gorelnick, and all of the family line to follow, FOOD was on his mind in one way or another at all times. He was a Foodie before foodies existed. The Taste section of the San Antonio Express News was the first section of the paper he read on the days it was published. He even set aside the Wall Street Journal to read about restaurants in San Antonio first. While Mervin dined at the finest the city has to offer, he loved to visit the small mom and pop spots just as much. Mervin subscribed to Food and Wine, Cook's Illustrated, Bon Appetit, Saveur, and other fine cooking magazines. He loved to read the recipes and about the cultures from which they originated. His own cooking, however, was limited to the microwave.

He loved the burgers at Order Up, extra jalapenos, please. II Sogno, Piatti's and the Silo at 1604 were favorites. He always loved the liver and onions at Luby's. Dairy Queen Blizzards, mmmmm! Until the day Mervin could no longer leave Brookdale, he was eating lunch out at least 4-5 days a week.

As kids, our Uncle Mervin was the best uncle you could ever have. He would tease us and call each of us, "Hepzabuh Finkelbottom" frequently. He would hold spelling bees for us. Of course, the words were always WWWAAAYYY beyond the skills of an 8-and 5-year old. "Girls, spell "psychopharmacology" for me. You have 10 seconds."

Momma always thought Dede was too chubby so she forbade ice cream for the darling munchkin (Can you tell who is writing this?). Uncle Mervin would sweep Dede away to Howard Johnson's 28 Flavors of Ice Cream where she could always get one scoop of her favorite coconut ice cream and another of whatever delighted her. What a dear man he was.

Everyone knows Mervin for his kindness and unwavering friendship. I know of no one who ever knew him to do a mean thing in this life. He forever loved and cared for his family and his friends.

Mr. Gorelnick is survived by his nieces, Judy Carter and Dede Braun and husband, Frank. He also leaves behind his friend for over 50 years, Mr. Pat Meeks.

We will love you and miss you always, Uncle Mervin.

SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017
1:30 PM

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in his name be made to the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) at or SNAP at 6758 Ingram Road, San Antonio, TX 78238.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in his name be made to the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) at or SNAP at 6758 Ingram Road, San Antonio, TX 78238.

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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