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Dennis Eugene Pemberton, Sr. passed away on May 3, 2019 at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs Hospital in Florida. He was 80 years old.
Born on June 27, 1938 in New York City, he was the son of the late Fredrick Charles Pemberton and Sylvia Louise Pemberton (née Eaton).
Mr. Pemberton was a 1956 graduate of the New York City public school system. He then enrolled in Columbia University in New York. In 1957 he enlisted in the United States Army. He was honorably discharged in 1959 as a Specialist 4th Class. In 1960 he founded Century Flooring, a wood flooring contracting firm in New York.
During this time, he met Andrea O. Ford, who recently moved into his building in the Bronx with her family. Despite her skepticism of the superbly dressed neighbor with the new car, and their 18-inch height difference, he finally won her heart. They married on May 12, 1963 at her family church, Mount Calvary Baptist Church in New York City.
Century Flooring grew to be a premier hardwood flooring design, contracting, and supply firm serving the needs of New York’s finest designers and decorators. The firm grew organically and through the acquisition of Herbst Flooring in 1961, Schraeger Flooring in 1978, Sokoloff Flooring in 1985 and New York Flooring in 1991, ultimately becoming among New York’s larger African-American owned businesses. He took great pride in employing numerous relatives and friends throughout the years and eagerly provided opportunities to individuals who needed a second chance. With offices, showrooms and warehouses in Manhattan and Mamaroneck, New York, Century Flooring’s clients included the United Nations, Bloomingdales, a host of celebrities, the Design and Decorators Building in New York City, and some of New York’s largest real estate owners. This exposure to real estate led him to secure a real estate license and to affiliate with William Maidman and Company. Real Estate investing and development became a life-long passion and pursuit. Mr. Pemberton astutely predicted the resurgence of Harlem and Brooklyn.
A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Pemberton had many additional business interests throughout his career including owning Alvey’s, a men’s clothing boutique in Brooklyn, New York in the1970s, several gas stations in New York and Florida, a specialty chemicals company and a woman’s swimsuit line.
Mr. & Mrs. Pemberton made their home in New Rochelle, NY from 1969 to 1984 later moving to Connecticut. Following the death of his beloved wife of nearly 40 years in 2002, he retired and moved permanently to their home in Florida.
Mr. Pemberton is survived by his daughter Denielle Marie Pemberton-Heard and son-in-law Gregory of Bethesda, Maryland; his son Dennis Eugene Pemberton, Jr. and daughter-in-law Jill of Skillman, New Jersey; four grandchildren Preston McQuade Heard, Olivia Marie Heard, Nina Sylvia Pemberton and Natalie Andrea Pemberton; a sister-in-law Olga Shaw of New York City; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and treasured friends. He was predeceased by his wife, mother, father, and two brothers, Leslie and Fredrick Jr.
A memorial service in Mr. Pemberton’s honor will be held on May 31, 2019 in New Rochelle, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made to the Morehouse College General Scholarship fund in his honor (http://giving.morehouse.edu/).