Richard S. “Rick” Bugdanowitz, a philanthropist and founder of La Nouvelle Fine Cleaners, died May 29, 2018, at his home in Denver. He always referred to himself as “Sheila’s husband,” a wink to his beloved late wife and Rose Community Foundation president Sheila Bugdanowitz.
Rabbi Steven Foster and Cantor Elizabeth Sacks officiated at the May 31 service held at Temple Emanuel. Interment followed at Emanuel Cemetery. Feldman Mortuary made the arrangements.
“Rick was widely known for his larger-than-life persona, passion, humor and plain-spokenness,” his loved ones said. “But those who knew Rick best understood his defining qualities to be his dedication to his family and his quiet, constant generosity.
“From an early age and continuing until his death, Rick supported individuals and families; refugees and veterans; the State of Israel; and Denver-area Jewish community,” they said.
“For Rick, philanthropy was deeply personal. He helped people directly, however and whenever he was able, often over arcs of entire lives.”
Mr. Bugdanowitz was born July 2, 1943, in Denver.
He attended George Washington High, the University of Arizona and served in the Colorado National Guard.
Sheila and Rick, who were high school sweethearts, were married for 52 years.
“They cherished their family, friends, community and each other,” his loved ones said.
Mr. Bugdanowitz was shattered by his wife’s untimely death in December, 2016.
He began his professional career working at his father’s dry cleaning shop, which grew out of his grandfather’s tailoring shop.
An entrepreneur, Mr. Bugdanowitz owned and operated several business, from a hog farm in Brush, Colo., to the iconic Harry Hoffman’s Liquors in downtown Denver.
In 1986, he returned to his roots and opened La Nouvelle Fine Cleaners. With the help of his business partner and dedicated employees, he transformed La Nouvelle into an industry leader.
Rick Bugdanowitz is survived by his sons Michael (Karine) Bugdanowitz and Bradley (Cynnthia LeDuc) Bugdanowitz; grandchildren Charlotte and David Bugdanowitz; sister Ruth (the late Warren) Toltz; and sister-in-law Carol (the late John) Sobel.
Contributions may be made in Mr. Bugdanowitz’ name to the Rose Community Foundation, 600 S. Cherry St., #1200, Denver, CO 80246, or online at www.rcfdenver.org/donor-and-giving.
Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News