Abraham Victor Seroussi, longtime resident of Gloversville, N.Y., and a larger-than-life personality, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by loved ones on the morning of Saturday, May 04, 2013.
He was 74 years old.
Abe Seroussi was a successful leather merchant and businessman, and at various points in time, served as Gloversville's mayor, finance commissioner and school board vice president.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Susan Carel Seroussi; two daughters, Ruthie (42) and Sarah (41); and son, Victor (39); son-in-law, Michael Newhouse and daughter-in-law, Paige Henderson Seroussi; and four grandchildren. He also is survived by his sister, Hinda and nieces Debbie Lieberman and Debbie May, and their children; in-laws in England, as well as scores of relatives stretching the globe from North Africa to South Africa, to Israel and the Mediterranean, to Europe and of course here in the United States.
Mr. Seroussi was born in Khartoum, Sudan on November 10, 1938, to the late Victor Abraham Seroussi and Charlotte Vivian Seroussi. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1940, shortly after the outbreak of World War II. He attended P.S. 87 in New York City, and then when his family moved to Gloversville, he attended Estee and Gloversville High School. He was active in Boy Scouting as a youth, obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout, and continued his love of the outdoors as a passionate, lifelong fisherman.
Mr. Seroussi is a 1956 graduate of Gloversville High and a graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he received a bachelor's degree in science and economics, with a minor in chemical engineering. He lettered in football during high school and college. And, he taught business statistics at Washington State University while studying for a master's degree. Mr. Seroussi served in the United States Army from 1962 to 1964 as a First Lieutenant.
In 1964, Mr. Seroussi traveled to Nigeria where he worked until 1975 as managing director of Bornu Tannery Limited, a pickling and tanning operation. During his time in Nigeria, he acted as a leather surveyor, tannery foreman and export agent for his firm. To carry on his daily business, Mr. Seroussi spoke three languages, English, French and Hausa; he also learned some Arabic.
In January 1970, on one of his trips back from Nigeria to Gloversville, Mr. Seroussi quite literally bumped into his soon-to-be wife, Susan, at Heathrow Airport in London. After a flight across the Atlantic together and a week-long whirlwind romance, Mr. Seroussi proposed; Mrs. Seroussi accepted; and the rest is history. They married shortly thereafter and she accompanied him back to Nigeria where they lived for the next five and a half years.
In October 1975, Mr. Seroussi moved back to Gloversville with his wife to raise their three very young children. They joined the Knesseth Israel Synagogue and the Jewish Community Center, and Mr. Seroussi began working with Seroussi Brothers Inc. and Seroussi Sales Corp, both located on Cayadutta Street. He coached his children in soccer, dutifully attended their horse riding, gymnastics and baseball competitions, and flooded his back yard many a winter to make a neighborhood ice skating rink. He and Mrs. Seroussi were avid bowlers and square dancers.
World travel, international business and foreign language remained important throughout Mr. Seroussi's life, as did his commitment to education, community and civic service. Mr. Seroussi ran for and won a seat on the Gloversville Enlarged School District's School Board and then served as its vice president. Subsequently, he served as Gloversville's Commissioner of Finance and still later, from 1998 to 2001 served as Gloversville's mayor.
Services will be held on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. at 11 a.m. at Knesseth Israel Synagogue, 34 East Fulton Street, in Gloversville. Interment will take place at Knesseth Israel Cemetery, Gloversville. The family will be receiving visitors from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, Johnstown.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Abraham Seroussi to Knesseth Israel Synagogue or to the Abe Seroussi Scholarship Fund, c/o NBT Bank, 10 N. Main St., Gloversville, NY 12078.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home, Gloversville. Please visit the family's online guestbook at www.brbsfuneral.com.