HOUSTON — Houston is mourning the death of a man who brought the city one of its most cherished establishments, Three Brothers Bakery.
Sigmund Jucker passed away peacefully Friday at age 98, according to the family. He was the last living co-founder of Three Brothers Bakery.
Sigmund and his twin brother Sol Jucker and younger brother Max Jucker opened Three Brothers Bakery on Holman Street in Houston on May 8, 1949.
He recalled earning $19, which would be a little more than $200 in 2020, on their first day.
For more than 50 years, Sigmund worked side by side with his brothers, brining delicious kosher-style pastries, cakes and breads to several generations of Houstonians.
They introduced residents to bagels, challahs and other Jewish and European foods that were unheard in Houston at the time.
Sigmund and his siblings were not only fourth generation bakers — the Jucker family having first established a bakery in their native country of Poland in 1825 — but also Holocaust survivors.
Sigmund brought into a concentration camp at age 17, where he remained until Liberation Day on May 8, 1945. He eventually left Germany with his brothers and joined their sister for a new life in Houston.
He married Edith Bannet in 1958, and the couple had three children, including his son who now runs the bakery. They were together for nearly 40 years. Sigmund had five grandchildren.
"Sigmund had a passion for health and exercise and knew at an early age that good food kept you healthy," an obituary by the family read. "He loved to eat, but had a strict diet of his famous rye bread and mostly vegetables so he always stayed fit. He also loved the outdoors and would kayak at Lake Conroe on his day off and snow skied until he was in his early 70s. His grandchildren would watch in amazement when he did 100 push ups at the age of 80 years old."
The family has asked that a donation be made to the Holocaust Museum Houston, Emergency Aid Coalition or your local Food Bank to Sigmund in lieu of sending flowers.