John Weichsel, 80, the former long-time Town Manager of Southington, died Friday, March 29, 2013. Born in Germany, he was the son of the late Dr. Manfred and Gertrude (Gans) Weichsel. His family came to the US in 1934 when he was one year old. John earned a master’s degree in government, from the Wharton School of Business, at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Southington, John was Town Manager in the small village of Ellenville, in New York’s Ulster County, where he earned the nickname “The Pied Piper of Ellenville,” for his handling of a rat infestation problem the town had due to improper trash handling. Mr. Weichsel was the longest-serving Town Manager in the country. He was hired in Southington on October 11, 1966, when the town switched to a “manager-council” form of government. John held the job for almost 45 years, until retiring in January 2011. At the time of his retirement, he joked that his legacy was mostly garbage — from fixing the trash problem in Ellenville, to fighting with the federal government over Superfund regulations, to his work getting the trash-to-energy plant operational in Bristol. A large picture of that energy plant used to hang on the wall of his Town Hall office. After his retirement, John went to back to work for a period, as interim Town Manager in East Hampton, CT. John was regularly in the newspapers over the years, not just for his work with the town, but also for winning tennis tournaments and basketball games. In a newspaper interview, he shared a story of how, when he was in college in 1951, his UPenn team played a two-minute scrimmage against the then-“Minnesota” Lakers. His third-string team actually beat the Lakers, 6-2.
He was past President of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), and past president of the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA). He was a member of the International City Managers Association, and the Connecticut City Managers Association. He also served on the Board of Directors for the former Bradley Memorial Hospital, in Southington.
Mr. Weichsel leaves his wife, Dolores ‘Dee’ Stanton-Weichsel; his son, Barry M. Weichsel and his wife Patricia of Southington; his daughter, Amy Rosen and her husband Dr. Alan Rosen of Larchmont, NY; his brother, Peter Weichsel and his wife Marcia of Encinitas, CA; and two grandchildren, Jacob and Joshua Rosen. He was predeceased by his first wife, Reva (Levine) Weichsel.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation, 37 Main Street, Southington, CT 06489. For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for John, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com/funerals.cfm.