Stanley Zolot, Businessman and Philanthropist

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The Merion resident built his family business, Bilt-Well Furniture Co., into a thriving design showroom. 

Stanley ("Mickey") Zolot, a prominent Philadelphia furniture business owner and philanthropist, died Jan. 14.

Born and raised in West Phil­adelphia, he attended Syracuse University and Penn State University. At age 18, because of his father’s illness, he left college to run the family business, Bilt-Well Furniture Co., a design and decorator showroom, which he built into a thriving establishment.


Married in 1950, he and his wife raised their family in Merion, spending summers in Ventnor, N.J. According to his son-in-law, Boots Nissenbaum, “If you didn’t like Mickey, you didn’t like people. When you joined his family, you hit the jackpot.”

And it was a jackpot filled with good times and many laughs as well. “His favorite time was having his family around him at the table at the seashore,” recalls his wife, Jane.

“He’d love to go out and purchase food” and then join the family for meals. “There was a lot of eating and laughing. He was such a great treasure,” says Jane.

And his employees knew the value of a boss who cared for them. “Employees were so devastated,” recalls his wife of them hearing of his death, “that we, the family, had to console them.”

He was an avid sports fan, and had an encyclopedic knowledge of sports.

Zolot was a generous supporter of many charities, leaving behind a legacy of philanthropy to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phil­adelphia, Hadassah, the Abramson Center for Jewish Life in Horsham, Pa., and the Children’s Hospital of Phila­delphia, among others.

He was a strong supporter of Israel and humanitarian causes, and not just monetarily: He often attended meetings and events.

According to his son, Andrew, “He was dedicated to making the world right for the people that he loved, and he achieved this goal with unconditional success.”

In addition to his wife, the former Janet Heicklen, and son Andrew, he is survived by a daughter, Judy Nissen­baum; son Kenneth; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 

 Contributions in his memory can be made to Hadassah, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, or a charity of the donor’s choice.


Michael Elkin contributed to this report.

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