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February 03, 1989 - Image 74

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-03

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ever To or et,

Louie Kay's light has
spread from the past
to the future. The Nazis
made sure of that.

Louis Kay


Staff Writer



ouie Kay loves faces, people
and doing good things.
His love is reflected in the
second-floor offices of Louis
Kay Enterprises, Inc., in north-
west Detroit, the walls of which are
lined with hundreds of faces — most-
ly family and friends, plus a few
famous like Golda Meir and John F.
Kennedy. And there's a stunning
display of plaques awarded Kay for be-
ing a super salesman of trees for the
Jewish National Fund.
Started by this Polish-born
Holocaust survivor as a perpetual
yahrtzeit to his family, the pictures
and plaques — which are lighted 24
hours a day — plus a marble monu-
ment he built in their memory at
Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, give
Kay daily comfort and the determina-
tion to make things better for others.
Since arriving in Detroit on Aug.
31, 1949, where he changed his name
from Lejbus Szyja Kreps to Louis Kay,
he has come to be known as a hard-
working, sensitive, charitable man.
Despite knowing little English, he
worked 20 hours a day to build a junk-
peddling business into a successful
soda bottle and container recycling
In the process, he created a work
force so loyal that, unbeknownst to
him, his employees physically defend-
ed his company building during the
riots of 1967.
IJuring the riots, he took his
children — Rhonda, Marc Steven, Vic-
tor Allan and Stuart David — door to
door to collect food and clothing for
the riot victims, even donating his
truck to deliver the aid.
For years, he picked up bread at

Louis Kay in his bottle recycling plant.

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