Sam Draluck passed away on July 1, 2023, just shy of his 98th birthday. Born July 31, 1925, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Sam was the oldest son of Rose Glustrom Draluck and Norman Draluck. They immigrated to Atlanta where, in 1952, he met and married an Atlanta native, Harriet Rosenbaum, daughter of Sarah Pazol Rosenbaum and Louis Rosenbaum, and became a prominent local businessperson.
He is survived by his wife of almost 71 years, Harriet, children, Marci (Howard), Ronny (Bonnie), Merrill, and Jonathan (Oren); grandchildren, Dov (Alondra), Noah, and Louie (Goldie) Pine; Mark (Abby) and Ross (Hillary) Draluck; Doran and Adon Draluck; and Shiri and Yannai Shamay-Draluck; great-grandchildren, Micah, Margo, Penelope, Marion and, born last month, namesake, Sammy; brother, Marvin (Barbara) and sister-in-law, Sharon Draluck; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, brother, Maurice, and sister- and brother-in-law, Esther Rosenbaum Buchsbaum and Aaron Buchsbaum.
His parents, Rose and Norman, were Ukrainian immigrants who met in Bucharest, Romania, where they had been sent by their families to find work. They departed from the Constantia port to Canada. Shortly thereafter, Sam was born and given the name, Shimon. As a teenager, when not caring for his baby brother, Marvin, or skating on Ontario’s frozen lakes, he and Maurice would ride the train to Toronto where they hung out at the JCC. His father was a talented tailor and craftsman who began a fur business. But the family also attributed its success (and their well-being) to the savvy that Sam brought to bear.
When he was a single young man, his family moved to be near his mother’s cousins in warmer Atlanta. Sam immersed himself in the community. He helped at his father’s grocery store on Piedmont and Auburn Avenues. He connected with other Yiddish speakers and newcomers. To develop a social and professional network, he got himself sponsored to join the Progressive Club on Techwood Avenue. He cultivated local business relationships, from Sig Samuels dry cleaners, where he was a customer nearly his entire life, and Callaway Motors in Decatur, to an array of trusted associates and counterparts. And he took dance lessons from one of the prominent entertainers at Atlanta’s famous African American night club, the Royal Peacock.
Sam loved his life with Harriet. Through the years they enjoyed extensive travel, friends, and music. For decades, they participated in a monthly gourmet group, dressing up and cooking up delicacies of other cultures and geographies. They got accustomed to overseas travel as it became vogue, traversing Europe both with tour groups and in rental cars, and visiting Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. In their numerous trips to Israel, he had a chance to meet long-lost first cousins from his considerable ancestry who had immigrated from former Soviet countries.
On each journey, he struck up conversations and bonded with locals as was his way. As a result, he would come back full of fun, little-known cultural facts. And as a connoisseur, wherever in the world he went, he would sample his reliable and safe entree – fresh salmon.
He appreciated classical music and opera and was a decades-long season ticket holder of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Together with Harriet, as founders of the original Ahavath Achim Synagogue Cultural Arts Committee and co-chairs for over 25 years, they were able to chart out a musical program of their own, bringing talent to play chamber music. Sam mingled with the musicians and took pride in managing the stage door.
His passion became real estate. In 1953, while taking business courses at Georgia State University, he decided to sit for the agent licensing test on a whim and, in 1957, he acquired his broker’s license as well. As president of Draluck Realty Company, he built a reputation as a tenacious, creative, and honest proprietor over a 60-plus year career. After decades of accolades in the Atlanta Board of Real Estate’s Million Dollar Club, his accomplishments were crowned on receipt of the Silver Phoenix Award by the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.
His personable approach and perseverance in real estate enabled him to fashion the most complicated transactions, navigating celebrities and stalwarts sometimes over years to get to closing. Sam called himself a matchmaker, as he enjoyed putting the buyers and sellers into romance situations. He was adept at dividing multi-unit dwellings into manageable and sellable income properties, doing so from Vine City to Roswell Road. Although his office was on West Peachtree Street for many years, he often conducted business in the field, unreservedly driving to meet up with folks wherever they were in the metro area. With deals always in the pipeline, he stuck it out night and day, and especially during tough times, to make the most for his business and family.
Real estate was entwined in every part of his life. The phone rang off the hook during family dinner time from those who wanted to catch him, their names indelible among giggling children at the table. One client gave him a steer. For his 90th birthday, party guests attributed their past flirtation in commercial real estate to the inspiration they drew from Sam. He mentored Merrill and Marci. He organized business lunches regularly. He developed a reputation in the Progressive Club’s men’s health club, paper and plates in hand, offering real estate in the steam room and sitz bath. And several years into his career, at the behest of a client who sought his pastor’s blessing, he met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The next Sunday from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church before his entire congregation, Dr. King recommended doing business with Sam Draluck.
Sam scarcely realized he retired. He had a banner year in his 80s and vacated his last office in Buckhead only after the building was slated for demolition, but continued to work the phones as long as he could, looking for leads that could satisfy his investors’ needs. He remained in his element – meeting and connecting with people – for almost 20 years as an active exercise class participant at the Piedmont Fitness Center. He loved the bike and as the oldest and most tenured there, was quite popular, pedaling until just a few weeks ago.
Sam felt most blessed with his loving family and the warm home that he and Harriet created. He always took a keen interest in his children’s pursuits, offering cautious advice when he could. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who affectionately called him, “Saba.” His face lit up on Shabbat and holidays as the grandchildren davened and led in song. He will be sorely missed. The funeral was at Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to a charity of your choice. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770.451.4999
- Sam Draluck
- Ukrainian immigrants
- Progressive Club
- Callaway Motors
- Royal Peacock
- Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
- Ahavath Achim Synagogue
- Georgia state university
- Draluck Realty Company
- Atlanta Board of Real Estate’s Million Dollar Club
- Silver Phoenix Award
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Ebenezer Baptist Church
- Greenwood Cemetery
- Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care