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With a heavy heart, we share with you that our industry friend and mentor, guide and scholar, Morrie Beschloss, passed away earlier this May.
As you very well know, Morrie was one of a kind! He was a scholar, leader, and, as I and others would call him, The Grandfather of the PVF industry. His guidance and leadership helped form and mold the PVF industry and the lives and careers of so many.
Rest easy, Morrie — and know we will celebrate you in the July issue of The Wholesaler magazine. And yes, we know he is smiling right now.
Morrie's obituary was published in the Chicago Tribune on May 11, 2023:
Morris Richard Beschloss, who was born in Berlin, Germany, on March 7, 1929, and escaped the Nazi Holocaust at the age of 10 along with his mother Manya and brother Max by emigrating to the U.S. in March 1939, died peacefully on May 2 in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 94 years old, living nearly two years after the death of his beloved wife of 66 years, Ruth.
While those early years in Germany were defining for his life, his family first lived in Pittsburgh and eventually resettled in southern Illinois in the rural town of Taylorville. His father, Ottokar Beschloss, who fled Germany to Cuba before rejoining the family in 1941, continued his work as a medical doctor in Taylorville.
Morris ran track and played football at Taylorville High School before attending the University of Illinois on a scholarship. In 1951, during his senior year of college, he served as the sports editor of the school's Daily Illini, showcasing his attraction to writing and collecting bylines.
But rather than pursue a career in journalism, he went into business after serving stateside as a 1st lieutenant in the US Army's Psychological Warfare Division during the Korean War. At the age of 33, he became president of Hammond Valve Corp., which launched a half-century career both as a manufacturing executive and valve industry leader. That included frequently contributing to industry trade publications. Along with many professional accolades and accomplishments, including serving as president of a local school board outside Chicago where he and his family resided, he was particularly proud of receiving the Distinguished Eagle Award given to a select group of former Eagle Scouts.
In recent decades, after he and Ruth relocated from Chicago to California, Morris dedicated much of his time writing about business, economics and foreign policy as a columnist for the Palm Springs Desert Sun, a weekly on-air commentator for local Palm Springs radio and TV, a continuing contributor to various industry trade publications, and moderator of well-attended weekly discussion groups particularly focused on his deep interest in Jewish and world history.
Morris is survived by his two sons, Michael and Steven, his daughters-in-law, Afsaneh and Kirsi, two grandsons, Alex and Cyrus, two granddaughters, Sara and Katrina, as well as his sister-in-law Frances Horwich and a number of nieces and nephews.
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