Norman Menaker, 87, who served the plumbing industry in various capacities for 60 years, died of heart failure July 26 at his home in Lawrence, NY. He was founder and president of Cobra Wire Co. in New Jersey until he sold the company in 1971. Then he started his own rep business, Norman Menaker Organization, based in Long Island, NY. He represented many of the major U.S. plumbing manufacturers as well as overseas companies.

Currently the business is run by Ron Barrera, his son-in-law. In addition to his rep business, Menaker was founder and president of NMO Specialty Manufacturing Corp., Long Island, NY, a manufacturing, importing and repackaging company of specialty plumbing parts, which was sold in 2001. He remained active in the manufacturers rep industry until early 2008.

Over the years he received “Rep of the Year” awards from companies including Ferno, Mill-Rose and LSP Products and he was a member of the New York Sales Representatives Association for many years. Menaker served as an Air Force pilot in World War II, was shot down and spent two years in a German POW camp.

In his semi-retirement years he dedicated many hours to helping young veterans returning from the current war. “He was loved for his gift of communication and known to all as a gentleman,” said his daughter, Stefanie Menaker, who worked with him for many years.