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Obituaries: Seymour “Sy” Gelzer


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Seymour “Sy” Gelzer, a beloved member of Congregation Beth Ahm, passed away on Friday, February 17, at Daughters of Israel, West Orange, at the age of 86.

Sy Gelzer was a gentle man and a gentleman. He cared about the other person before he considered his own needs. He never wanted to bother other people and kept his problems to himself until his dying day. However, he was the first to join in the happiness of friends.

Sy was a hard worker who until well in his eighties would climb high ladders to change bulbs or fix fire alarms. He was a mainstay of Congregation Beth Ahm of West Essex in Verona. No one knew the “plant” better than Sy. He understood the blueprints to the synagogue as well as he knew the members of the 1937 Jersey Giants. No one knew more about baseball, Jersey City and American history than did Sy. He was a scholar who earned his engineering degree at NYU at night. During the day he worked full time in his father’s store.

During World War II he made attempt after attempt to join the military, Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but was always disqualified by a severe hearing loss. He was a proud American and a lifelong Democrat. For many years Sy was an engineer at Picatinny Arsenal.

Sy was married to Natalie who predeceased him. He was the father of Gina, and the grandfather of Charles, Steven whom he raised, and of Lynsey, and great grandfather of Brooke and Braden.

His family and members of Congregation Beth Ahm deeply mourn his passing. Funeral services will take place on Sunday, February 19, 11:00am, at Congregation Beth Ahm, 56 Grove Avenue, Verona, N.J. 07044. Burial is at Mount Moriah in Fairview, N.J.

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