Friends and family of Stanley M. Wiesen, 93, mourn his loss on September 20, 2013 in West Hartford. Born in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of the late Sue M. and I. Edward Wiesen.
As a youth, Stanley was very athletic and enjoyed summers at Camp Moween in CT. The camaraderie and character-building of those years so impressed these young boys, they continue to this day to have reunions at the Penn Club in NYC. The New York Times once made note of it. At age fourteen, Stanley was the youngest official scorekeeper for the Hartford Twilight League. Along with the late John Abrahms, he won table tennis tournaments. Stanley was always warm and friendly and service-oriented, and in 1939, he helped form the USY (United Synagogue Youth) with the late Rabbi Morris Silverman.
During WWII, Stanley served 45 months in the 8th & 12th U.S. Air Force and was discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant, having served in England, Africa, Italy and Sicily, Trinidad and Puerto Rico.
In 1947, Stanley wooed and wed Lorraine Kaplan, daughter of Sayde L. and Harry H. Kaplan, and they recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. Together, they acted as advisors to the clubs at the Lawrence Street Settlement House.
At that time, Stanley worked in his father’s sporting goods store. Later, he changed careers to the State Class Co. and after its demise, he used the training earned there to open his own glass company, Stanley Wiesen, Inc., in 1961. It was so named at the urging of his friends to take advantage of the good will he had already achieved in the community. Customers, suppliers and employees were won over by his ready smile, joke-of-the-day and his concern for all of them. He never met a person that he did not try to help in some way. From then on he made a friend whom he never forgot – his memory was legendary and often serves as a source of information for others.
He supplied building products to homes and apartments, and was a member of the CT Glass Dealers Association. He received the Glass Dealer of the Year award in 1970, the prestigious Joseph Arbini Award for contributions to the glass industry and various other honors for contributions to the Glass Show.
As a founding member of Beth El Temple, he was actively involved in its Men’s Club and its many programs. In 2000, he received the Distinguished Service Award. He was also recognized for his 22-year commitment to the Minyans. Stanley’s commitment to organizations and causes that he espoused was so long-term that he earned recognition by them and a lasting connection with their other supporters.
As a member of the Jewish Community, Stanley was a Founding Member of the Mayor George Athanson’s All American Council. At its peak, it celebrated the ethnicity of 62 groups and offered programs in in the native language of each to service their needs and their safety.
Jonathan’s Dream was started as a playground where handicapped children were able to join the play and eventually expanded into Boundless Playgrounds, establishing playgrounds nationally and abroad. In recognition of Stanley’s involvement and commitment to help make Jonathan’s Dream come true, he received the Groundbreaker’s Award in 2007, a certificate of appreciation of service as a long-term trustee of the Board of Directors.
Stanley was a Founding Member of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford and was an Honorary Director after many years of service and support. In 2002, he was elected to the Jewish Athletes Hall of Fame.
Stanley became a member of the Jewish Community Center in 1949. With his strong athletic background, he was made chairman of the Athletics Committee and the Center’s Youth Program took off. He served in this capacity for 22 years. He also served on the House Committee and the Purim Festival. He was a member for over 50 years and a Board Member for over 40 years. He was a strong voice for common sense, compassion and clear thinking, plain-spoken wisdom at all Board meetings. He was made an Honorary Life Officer. He was especially proud of receiving the Gerald M. Steinberg Outstanding Leadership Award in 2011.
Recent health issues brought Stanley to Hebrew Health Care in West Hartford, where he received exemplary care from 4 South staff.
In addition to his wife, Lorraine (Kaplan) Wiesen, Stanley is survived by his two precious daughters, Andrea Rundgren of San Francisco, CA, and Debby Wiesen Kelly with her husband David of Arlington, MA, and two sisters, Phyllis Hoffman of Palm Beach, FL and West Hartford, and Jane Abrams of Laguna Hills, CA and Peterborough, NH. Stanley also leaves several cherished nephews, nieces and delightful grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, September 23, 2013 in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford with Rabbi James Rosen officiating. Interment will follow in Beth El Temple Cemetery, Jackson St. Extension, Avon. Following the interment the family will receive relatives and friends at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Ave., West Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Beth El Temple, The Jewish Community Center, Hebrew Home and Hospital, or the charity of the donor’s choice. For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Stanley, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com/funerals.cfm.