Source: O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home
Michael Roy Josephson passed away peacefully Thursday February 13, 2020 with his loving daughters by his side. He was the son of Edwin and Ida Josephson. Michael was born on February 17, 1933 in Newport R.I. He attended Rogers High School and Boston University.
Michael’s grandfather, Israel Josephson, founded the original Narragansett Clothing Company in 1883 on upper Thames Street. In 1960 the flagship store moved to Memorial Boulevard, where he and his former wife, Adriene Josephson, grew the company to a chain of stores from Boston to Washington D.C. He was an original haberdasher, rarely seen without his pocket square, enjoying and sharing his creative elegance with others.
Michael was a third generation Newporter, bringing support and vitality to many local organizations. He was a Director and Vice President of the Newport Preservation Society, a life member of Touro Synagogue and the President of the Society of friends of Touro Synagogue, Vice President of the Jewish Federation of R.I., Director of Newport Chamber of Commerce. Director of R.I. Business Development Council, Trustee of Newport Hospital, President of Newport County United Jewish Appeal and a Trustee of the Bank of Newport. He was also a member of the Newport Country Club, Redwood Library, Newport Art Museum, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, and the Newport Casino.
As well as his Newport house he had a winter home in Key Biscayne Florida and a business apartment in New York City. Michael was a restaurant connoisseur, famous for hosting and dining with friends and family.
As a young man, he was an esteemed tennis player, preferring the grass courts at the Newport Casino, while making new friends and perfecting his game. Throughout his life he was a die-hard New England sports fan, deriving much peace and pleasure in watching “the ball game.”
Michael loved his friends, most of them for a lifetime. He is known for his generosity of spirit, his creativity of style, his empathetic openness and inclusivity. He was a true Newporter and had friends in every neighborhood. His pals ranged from Bedlow Place to Bellevue Avenue, from New York City, to Israel and Paris. Most recently, he enjoyed his new buddies at the RI Veterans Home in Bristol. He was a great storyteller, entertaining all who enjoyed his company.
Michael was a veteran, serving in the Korean Conflict from 1953 -1955. He was honored and proud to spend the last months of his life at the Vets Home. He would often say “on this long bus ride called life, this is the last stop and I’m going out in class.”
Michael was a loving father, grandfather, cousin and friend to many. He is survived by his children Elizabeth, Susie (Harry Horgan) and his grandson Eli Josephson Horgan.
Funeral services will take place at the Hoffman Jewish Memorial Chapel, 11 Fowler Avenue, Newport on Sunday, February 16, 2020, at 11am. Burial will follow at Beth Olam Cemetery, 181 Wyatt Road, Middletown. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Touro Synagogue Foundation, 85 Touro Street, Newport RI, 02840 or Shake-A-Leg Miami 2620 South Bayshore Dr, Miami FL, 33133.
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