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Frederick Altman

Altman, Frederick of Boston, MA passed away on March 22, 2021. Beloved husband of the late Marcia (Garshick) Altman. Devoted father of Alyssa Rose Altman. Fred was born in Providence, RI, January 3, 1925.  He attended Classical High School in Providence.  Fred joined the US Army in March 1943 and served as a Staff Sergeant until December 1945.  He fought in five battles in WWII, starting in Normandy and spending time in France and Germany throughout his service.  In 1945, he was honorably discharged and came back to Rhode Island and set up a fruit store built upon his father’s years of peddling fruit with a horse and buggy.  In 1953, he left Providence for Boston to venture into a career in Marketing.  He built a national mail order zipper business before mail order was common practice in the industry. He then went back to Europe and lived in Amsterdam, Holland to build an international marketing business across 16 European countries. While traveling back and forth from Amsterdam and the US, he met his wife, Marcia and they married in 1966. Once married, he moved back to Boston and created the Gift Merchandise Mart catering to the Gift Industry in New England.  One of his greatest accomplishments was establishing the North East Trade Center in Woburn, MA.  He converted a 30-year-old Sylvania plant into an exhibition hall and merchandise mart. It was one of the first of its kind in the region. The following 20 years, he focused on finding opportunities across a variety of industries.  In the late seventies, he created the Unfinished Furniture Marketplace – this trade show served to organize fragmented manufacturers into a viable group.  He later moved on to the costume jewelry industry, organizing an export program for ten manufacturers that attracted over 800 retailers across Europe.  In the nineties, he created an Antique Center in New England with approximately 300 dealers.  After working on the Antique Center, he built a direct-to-consumer business in the US for an Italian spiral staircase company, Albini & Fontanot, leveraging Google in its early days.  After five years of trying, he finally sold the spiral staircases into Lowe’s and Home Depot.  His final effort was to help initiate a Green Trade Center in New England.

Fred had a robust career, fulfilling his dreams of international marketing and building businesses one step at a time.  To his family and friends, he is the master listener, storyteller and advice giver.  His 50-year marriage to Marcia was something special.  Meeting and marrying later in life, they never imagined they would have found each other and be married for 50 years.  They were partners in everything – both creative minds, Fred was more of the business creator and his wife Marcia, the financial expert.  Throughout their loving marriage, they worked together in business and always enjoyed dreaming big.  Fred was a devoted and wonderful father to their daughter, Alyssa. Throughout his life, he nurtured, mentored and supported any young person who was lucky enough to cross paths with him.

In addition to him being a devoted husband and wonderful father, Fred was a beloved uncle, great uncle and cousin to many. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Rose (Laventman) Altman, his two sisters and brothers-in-law, Dorothy and Clinton Olink and Sarah and Robert Rose, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Alfred and Shoshanah (Rothkopf) Garshick, his niece, Rhonda (Olink) Zammarelli, cousins Edward Landy and Irene Ronkin, and dear friends, Guy Gennelly and Shirley Radlo.

Due to current restrictions, funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Fred’s memory may be made to Feed America, c/o The Greater Boston Food Bank, 70 South Bay Ave., Boston, MA 02118 or to your favorite charitable organization.


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