by Karen Alberg Grossman

MR magazine is saddened to report the passing last month of Sigmund Edward Davidson, the second generation to lead Davidson’s in Roanoke, Virginia. The store was founded by his father, Lithuanian immigrant Joe Davidson, in 1910; Sig was 98 years old and highly respected by all who knew him.

From his obituary in the Roanoke Times: “To those around him, Sig represented a compelling example of what it meant to create one’s own luck and happiness.” Sig was studying at Wharton School of Business when the attack on Pearl Harbor forced him back to Roanoke to help out his family. From a photograph, he fell in love with Harriet Cohen, whom he married before enlisting in September 1942. He was in Europe recovering from a combat wound in March 1945 when his first child, daughter Bonnie, was born. He received both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service.

Sig grew his retail business by establishing strong relationships in his community and, after retiring in 1985 and turning over the business to sons Larry and Steve, he stepped up his fundraising and community involvement. There’s not enough room on MR’s newsflash to list all the organizations that benefited from Sig’s fundraising talents but they include the American Red Cross, United Way, UJA, Habitat for Humanity, Men’s Retailers of America, Roanoke College, Virginia Association of Retail Clothiers, Temple Emanuel, Roanoke Junior Chamber of Commerce, and many more. He brought to Roanoke Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Literacy Volunteers of America and played a role in moving Southwest Virginia to desegregation.

Also, from the Roanoke Times: “Considered wise, savvy and steadfast, Sig’s counsel and company were sought and enjoyed by family, friends, and community…His success in all avenues was attributed to his sheer force of personality and compassion.”

On behalf of the menswear community, we are grateful for the inspiration Sig Davidson continues to provide. Our sincere condolences to his children Bonnie (and Alan) Hammerschlag, Larry (and Janice) Davidson, and Steve (and Sherry) Davidson, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

May Sig’s memory be forever a blessing.


  1. Larry,
    Your Dad was a remarkable man who led a remarkable and inspiring life.
    Sending our condolences.
    Reid & Becky Rapoport

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