WATERTOWN, NY — Harold Rothschild, who owned and operated Rothschild’s Jewelers for nearly 50 years, passed quietly at his home at age 95 on Dec. 17, 2020, after a long illness. He was with Gloria, his wife of 68 years, who had lovingly cared for him throughout his illness.
Besides Gloria, he leaves his two children Martin J. Rothschild Esq. of Syracuse, and Sharon Rothschild, manager of information systems for the Westport Public Schools, (Howard Silver ,DDS) of Westport Connecticut, and four grandchildren, Eric Silver, DDS, MD, currently employed as an oral surgical resident at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, Matthew Silver, a data engineer for Disney+ Streaming, in New York City, Ethan Rothschild a lawyer in New York City, and Sara Rothschild, a graphic artist in Boston.
Harold was born on May 16, 1925, in Watertown where he grew up. He attended and graduated from Watertown High School. After graduation, he was admitted to Ohio State University where he attended until the middle of his junior year. At that time, his father Martin, who had run the jewelry store on Court Street for many years, died suddenly. Harold left school and took over ownership and operation of the store until his retirement in 1994.
Many residents of the north country recall buying their wedding rings, graduation gifts and other Jewelry from Rothschilds. Harold was always known as an honest, personable, and dependable businessman who customers enjoyed dealing with. His store was a downtown fixture for many years, and its heyday preceded the opening of the Mall which changed dramatically the retail environment in Watertown.
Harold served as a director of the New York State Jewelers Association. He was an active member of the business group Watertown Alive, and of the Downtown Business Association. He was also a long-time member of the Chamber of Commerce.
He contributed greatly to Degal Israel Synagogue in Watertown and served a term as President. As chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, he helped raise substantial contributions for the charitable causes promoted by that organization. He is greatly missed by the local Jewish community.
The Jefferson County Historical Society became a passion for him after retirement. He helped to promote the advancement of the museum and the obtaining of new exhibits. He served as treasurer as well.
Attendance at weekly Rotary luncheons was a ritual for Harold before and after retirement. He was a loyal member and became a director. He received a Paul Harris award from the club for his exemplary service. He also was a member of the Masonic Lodge and worked with the small business agency Score to mentor and educate entrepreneurs who were working to start new businesses in the community.
Harold was an excellent carpenter and remodeled and built the entire basement of the family home on Sherman Street. He was astute at home maintenance and repair and offered help to others when they needed things fixed. For recreation, he was an avid tennis player and a long-time member of Gold’s Gym.
The family wishes to express thanks and gratitude to the many aides who cared for Harold during his illness including Heather, Debby, Cindy, Fallon and Patty, as well as various nurses from Jefferson County Public Health.
Donations may be made to Degal Israel Synagogue, Watertown.
Arrangements are with Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown.