A memorial service is today for longtime Santa Rosa men's clothing store owner, World War II veteran and ardent sports fan, Bernard “Ben” Brazis, 92.
For 55 years Ben Brazis and his brothers George and John owned and operated a men's clothing store, including 30 years in Santa Rosa with Sabers Men's Wear.
Ben Brazis died Aug. 1 in his sleep at his longtime Santa Rosa home, said his son Phil Brazis of Santa Rosa. The father had been in failing health from cancer and died of congestive heart failure.
Ben Brazis was a businessman during an older Santa Rosa era, before chain stores when a customer knew their salesman also was often the store owner.
For decades the Brazis brothers, all trained tailors, worked all aspects of their business and offered custom suits made in the back shop sewing room and ready made professional wardrobes to Sonoma County's well-dressed men.
“Their business... was his life. It was true for him and his brothers, they were very dedicated to their business,” said Phil Brazis, who recalled running around in the Coddingtown store as a toddler.
“He knew the business inside and out,” said Jan Scheele of Windsor, Ben Brazis' daughter, who called her father a kind and gentle man.
Ben Brazis was born and raised in Cleveland, where his father had a men's clothing store and operated a family farm.
A 1985 Press Democrat article about the brothers and their longstanding business described how they learned the trade from their Lithuania-born father who had been a tailor's apprentice at age 7.
During World War II Ben Brazis served in the U.S. Army, including being stationed in post-war Japan. After the war he farmed for a few years before joining his brothers at the Cleveland family clothing store.
After several years there they moved the store for five hot years to Phoenix.
In 1962, wanting more civilized weather, the brothers headed for California, settling their business and their families in Santa Rosa.