August 14, 2008 Issue
Chestnut Hill Local
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Margaret Bugay, 83, of Wyndmoor, who, with her husband, Milton, were proprietors of Bugay’s Jewelers, a family business in Chestnut Hill for nearly 50 years, died Aug. 8, of renal failure as a complication of diabetes at Abington Hospital.
Mrs. Bugay also was a regular columnist for the Chestnut Hill Local in the early 1960s.
A respected local business figure known for her marketing acumen, she charmed her customers with her bright red hair and folksy manner.
She hired and trained many local teenagers and was known as a tough and demanding but fair employer. Many of her former employees and their children remained friends and patrons of the store.
Some of the marketing strategies employed by the Bugays, such as the “Monogram Game,” which offered prizes of engraved jewelry to those whose initials matched those published by the store in its advertising, endeared them to the community.
She retired more than five years ago when foot surgery made it too difficult to maintain her regular work schedule. Since then, the business at 8638 Germantown Ave. has been operated by her daughter and sons.
Born Margaret Dalton and raised in a small community in Ohio, Mrs. Bugay left home in the 1940s for a career in New York City as a model and account executive for a large hair products business. While on a business trip to Philadelphia, she suffered an attack of acute appendicitis and was hospitalized for an extensive period at Jefferson University Hospital.
Dining with friends after her convalescence, she met a young pianist, Milton Bugay, who was performing at a supper club in Center City. They later married and opened a successful beauty and hair products business that, by utilizing a variety of marketing techniques – among them vast media exposure – was able to compete in the hair products market with much larger companies, such as Proctor and Gamble.
After the death of Mr. Bugay’s mother, Rose, the Bugays assumed management of the family jewelry business founded by Mr. Bugay’s father, Samuel, at the current address in the 1920s.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Bugay is survived by a daughter, Rosalind Bugay Schiller; sons Samuel H. and Arthur L. Bugay, and eight grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Aug. 10 with interment at Montefiore Cemetery.
Mr. D’Alonzo was the husband of the late Jennie Galante D’Alonzo. He is survived by sons Ronald Francis D’Alonzo and James Schad; sisters Margaret and Marie of New York, and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, August 14, at St. Genevieve’s Church, 1225 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, 19031. Friends and relatives may call at 9 a.m. Interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the above church.