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William J. Chertok, 84, Civic Activist in Coatesville

July 10, 2013 By:
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William J. Chertok

William J. Chertok, 84, a Philadelphia native who spent most of his life in Coatesville, Pa., where he had a successful political as well as business career, died June 22.

A Wharton graduate who earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Business, he also was an instructor at Drexel University following Army service in the Korean War, where he achieved the rank of 1st lieutenant.

From 1954 to the mid-’70s, he worked at and eventually ran the family business, Chertok’s Furniture, founded in 1902 by his grandfather, Meyer Chertok.

Outside the family business — which he turned over to his son Larry — he had a civic career in Coatesville as well, including serving as president of its City Council. He was chairman, Southeast District of the  Pennsylvania League of Cities, and a member of the Coatesville Charter Commission. He was a former chairman of the board of the Embreevile State Hospital; president and board member of the Memorial Center Inc.; and treasurer of the Coatesville Redevelopment Authority. 

His Jewish commitment was plentiful: He served as president of Beth Israel Congregation of Chester County, and was active in the Jewish Federation of Great­er Philadelphia. Chertok also became international vice president of Parents of North American Israelis and an international board member of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, among other posts held.

His run for Congress in 1994 was unsuccessful but his bid to be president of the Men’s Club at Martins Run in Media, where he spent his retirement years, was successful.

 Married for 52 years to the former Joanne Steinberg, he is survived by a daughter, Susan Karp; three sons: Mark, Larry and David; nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild. 

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