In Memory of Our Father
September 1, 1925 – August 1, 2004
He beat the Odds!
The life of Salek Allweiss
By Jack Allweiss
I want to thank all of you for coming here today to celebrate the life of Salek Allweiss, known to most of you as Sol. This hall is full, a crowd of over four hundred people, that alone is more of a testament to Sol than anything I could say, but I will try.
Eulogies usually consist mostly of platitudes of how wonderful the deceased was. A great father, businessman, friend, and husband. But, being an Engineer, I am more of a nuts and bolts person, not taken to platitudes.
When I think of my Dads life I can only come up with one overriding impression, here is a man who beat all the odds.
First of all, he lived longer than the average man born in this county. The average American male lives 76 years, my dad lived almost 79 years. But that is not the whole story, because my Dad was born in Poland in 1925, not the US.
The average lifespan for a man born in Poland at that time was only 52 years old! He beat those odds big-time. But the story is even more amazing, because of a period in history called the Holocaust.
The odds of a Jew in Poland surviving the Holocaust? Not good. Statisticians put it at somewhere between 1-3%. How did he and his brother do it? A lot of guts, some smarts, some luck, the help of righteous Christians, and a gun.
So we have a man, who had only about a 3% chance to survive at best, yet he did, and he thrived.
He came to the US with nothing and went to work. He married and started a family. The odds of a marriage lasting 50 years are not good in this country, only about 30%, but his did.He started a small business with his brother. Half of all small businesses fail in the first year. In ten years 90% of small businesses are out of business. But his business grew and thrived, providing employment for literally hundreds of people over the years, paying taxes to support our government, helping people and the community. And 50 years later the business is even stronger under the management of his son Philip. The odds of passing a business to the second generation? Less than one in 100.
Unfortunately, Sol developed diabetes when he was only 50 years old, but he controlled it with diet for over 15 years, again beating the odds for diabetics. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and nervous system damage for those over 50, and is the sixth leading cause of death; finally he succumbed to the odds.
So, the facts show that, overall, Sol really did beat the odds. Why, because he was a fighter, a person with the good natured temperament, stamina, and smarts to overcome great adversity. We need more people in this world like him, not fewer. So not only will we miss him, the world will too.