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Harry Weiss
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Obituary for Harry Weiss

Dr. Harry J. Weiss passed away at the age of 94 on Nov. 22, 2017, with his wife of 70 years at his side, at the Green Hills Health Care Center in Ames. The family will hold a memorial service in celebration of Harry’s life at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at the Ames Jewish Congregation, to which their friends and acquaintances are invited.

Harry was born Feb. 15, 1923, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Ralph and Bessie (Denson) Weiss. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946, fighting in the European Theater of Operations in Germany and France, and remained in the army reserves until honorably discharged in 1953. While in the military, Harry received a field commission as staff sergeant and later became a 2nd Lieutenant in charge of his platoon. A member of the 100th Division, he earned, among multiple medals and badges, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. At war’s end, Harry’s military duties included helping persons displaced by the war, including concentration camp survivors.

After returning from his military duty overseas, Harry met the woman who would become his wife, Marion Ruth (Rivkees) Weiss. They were married on May 30, 1947. After his military service, Harry resumed his education and received his B.S. (1947) in Mathematics, an M.S. (1949) in Applied Mathematics, and a D.Sc. (1951), also in Applied Mathematics, from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Prior to accepting a position at Iowa State University and moving to Ames, Harry was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics (1947-1951) at Carnegie Institute of Technology and then Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics (1951-1953) at Brown University. He joined the faculty at Iowa State College (now University) in 1953 as an Assistant Professor (1953-1956) of Mathematics and was promoted to Associate Professor (1956-1962), Professor (1962-1989) and then Head (1964-1986) of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. Harry retired in 1989 and was named Professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering/Mathematics. Throughout his career Harry’s main focus of research was in applied mathematics, continuum mechanics, and integral transforms. After retiring from Iowa State, Harry spent two years in Germany and Italy teaching mathematics at Army and Air Force bases.

Once he officially retired from teaching, Harry continued to donate his time and talents to the academic and Ames community at large through multiple volunteer and professional activities. He served as Executive Secretary of the local chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, an international research society that works to promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement, and in 2010 Harry received their Evan Ferguson Award for excellence in service. He also served as treasurer of the Free Medical Clinic in Ames, which serves underinsured and indigent individuals, treasurer for the Ames chapter of the League of Women Voters, and as a board member for the Ames Public Library. When Harry and Marion moved to Ames in 1953, they helped found the Ames Jewish Congregation. He continued to volunteer his skills and time to the congregation and, driven by his desire for harmony and understanding among people of different faiths, served as Ames’s representative on the Iowa Interfaith Council.

Harry had a lifelong love of jazz music and a passion for bringing that music, and an appreciation and understanding of jazz music, to the larger Iowa community. For at least 14 years, Harry and Marion and their good friends Don and Donna Newbrough sponsored a jazz party in Ames. Each year they brought in top-flight musicians and hosted the event at the Gateway Center Hotel, with 250-300 jazz fans from around the state attending each event. Harry often presented programs on jazz and popular music to Senior Centers and Elder Hostels, including at Iowa State.

Harry is survived by his wife, Marion; their three children, Eric Weiss (Karolyn), David Weiss (Gail Monahan), and Amaroq Weiss (Terry Kolkey); five grandchildren, Jon-Michael Richardson (Gary), Erica Hogan (Matt), Jordan Weiss, Holli Kolkey, and Zoe Weiss (Alex); and three great-grandchildren, London Weiss, Brooklyn-BelAir Moos, and Wyatt Richardson.

Harry was a committed supporter of Southern Poverty Law Center, Doctors Without Borders, and Iowa Public Television. Memorial contributions in his name can be made to any of these organizations.

Adams Funeral Home in Ames is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and photos may be shared at www.adamssoderstrum.com.
© 2017 Soderstrum Reimers Inc.


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Previous Events

Graveside Service

Friday

24

Nov

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Ames Municipal Cemetery

310 E 9th St.
Ames, IA IA 5001

Memorial Service

Saturday

16

Dec

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Ames Jewish Congregation

3721 Calhoun Ave
Ames, IA 50010

Cemetery Details

Location

Ames Municipal Cemetery

310 E 9th St.
Ames, IA IA 5001

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