Amherst Magazine

Jacob A. Weisman '38

Deceased January 28, 2013

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50th Reunion Book Entry


In Memory

In his golden years, Jake had a goal: spending it all.

Before that, in his words, “I rebuilt or started five businesses for what turned out to be an enjoyable and successful career.”

And “I spent much time on civic and charitable causes. I built a new temple, served on the boards of a bank, a community college, the United Fund, the YMCA, the school committee, the hospital…”

All that done, his aim as a retiree was to enjoy himself, he told us 25 years ago in our 50th Reunion book. He spoke of multiple trips abroad and winters in the Caribbean and said “I eat and drink the best and, being of sound mind, I am going to spend it all. Of course, I am still giving a little of it away to Amherst, etc.” One of his abiding interests was helping the nonprofit organization SCORE (Counsellors to America’s Small Businesses.)

As he grew old, Jake moved into a condo in retirement community in Braintree, MA, where, one of his last postcards said, he was “still going on in a good place, trying to stay happy.” It ended Jan. 28, 2013, when at age 95 he died at a Weymouth hospital following a broken clavicle in a fall.

Although he also had other infirmities, his mind remained sharp, Lois Ritchie, his companion of 30 years, said. He read the Wall Street Journal daily and “even started a group devoted to current events. His sense of humor hadn’t left him either.”

Coming to Amherst from his native Lynn, Jake’s interests in college  were the International Relations Club, flying and the Lord Jeff Club. He went to Harvard afterward for an MBA.

Jake called a divorce “my only large failure.” Two daughters, Elaine and Janice, survive. A son, Marvin, predeceased him.

George Bria ’38

 

50th Reunion

While I do not relieve in looking back, this upcoming fiftieth ''Old Guard11 (how I hate that and "Senior Citizen") certainly calls for a pause and reflection.

I remember at graduation looking at the 50th reunion class as a major miracle, wondering what kept those creatures together and mobile.

I also remember the simple 16 year old kid who graduated from high school and was suddenly p1aced in competition with all those sophisticates from prep schools. Yet Amherst was a friendly school and, in essence, those were the best years.

My graduation from Harvard Business School put me on the business track and after working for other people for 8½ years I branched out and rebuilt or started five businesses for what turned out to be an enjoyable and successful career. The businesses were sold to employees and all are doing fine.

Now my goal is to enjoy myself. I have spent much time on civic and charitable causes in the past. I built a new temple, served on the boards of a bank, a community college, the United Fund, the YMCA, the school committee, the hospital, etc.

So here is how I am enjoying myself. I go abroad every year (this year 4 times). I go to Bermu1a every year and to the Caribbean during the winter (either on 1and or sea). I eat and drink the best, being of sound mind, I am going to spend it all. Of course I am still giving a little of it away to Amherst, etc.

I have been blessed in that the machinery is holding up fairly well and I am trying to take care of it- to reach my goal of spending it all!

I also keep the mind alive by doing a little private management consulting and spending a lot of time in the "score" program under SBA. It is a very good and gratifying way to spread the value of your business experience.

My only large failure was my marriage - but my relationships with my children are good and new companionship has more than made up for the grief of a rocky marriage.

Let's all look forward to #60!

 

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