Friday, 30 July 2010 00:00
Abe R. Druss (Aug. 14, 1906-June 18, 2010), going on 104 years old, passed away among family and friends at his home in Roslyn Heights (since 1952). Throughout his 103 years, Abe Druss earned the love and respect of all those he touched. Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from Erasmus Hall High School when he was 15. Abe attended Columbia College, graduating in 1928, where he was on the wrestling team and was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu. After Columbia, Abe worked on Wall Street. He was on the floor when the market crashed in 1929. Abe was an adventurer. In 1933 he left his job on Wall Street and took a solo trip around the world, including a climb to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, clad only in moccasins and shorts.
Abe was one of the “Greatest Generation,” serving in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps in Europe during WWII. He and fellow intelligence analysts predicted the German surge against Allied lines that became known at the Battle of the Bulge. He was stationed in Berlin after V-E Day and vividly remembered that German citizens pleaded with American G.I.s to “arrest them” lest they be captured by the Russians. But, his worst memory of the war, other than the Nazi barbarism, was the mistreatment of Afro-American soldiers he witnessed at the hands of white American civilians and German POWs at Fort Hood, TX. He continued his Intelligence Corps career after the war in the Army Reserve, serving with distinction and retiring as Lt. Colonel. At the time of his death, Abe was one of the oldest WWII veterans on Long Island.
In his civilian life, Abe built residential developments in Bethlehem, PA, and on Long Island in Smithtown, Hauppauge and Riverhead. Abe was a devoted member of Temple Beth Shalom since 1952 and became part of the temple family. But his proudest achievement was the family he raised with Mildred Schpeiser Druss, his wife of 60 years. In addition to his wife, Abe is survived by their children, Mark and Claudia Druss, their children, Jared Hallock, Garek and Emily Druss; Sarah and daughter Mia Druss; David Druss and children, Judith and Nathan.
Funeral services were held on June 20 in the chapel of Temple Beth Shalom, Roslyn Heights. Burial was at the family plot, Springfield Gardens, NY. The family expresses its heartfelt thanks to Abe’s niece and nephew, Stanley and Tooty Ulanoff, and to the many Temple Beth Shalom members who have loved and supported Abe for so many years.