Jack Altman

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Jack Altman passed away on Friday, March 22, 2013, with his devoted wife Ruth at his side. Services will be held at 10 AM on Monday, March 25, at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park Chapel, Northwest Highway, Dallas, followed by a funeral procession to the burial service at Agudas Achim Cemetery at 7901 Scyene Road, Dallas. There will be a short gathering for friends and family after the funeral services at The Legacy at Willow Bend, Plano (commencing about 1:30 p.m.). Jack was born during Passover in 1927. In symmetry, he will be laid to rest, next to his beloved son Stuart, on the eve of Passover 2013. He would have turned 86 on April 19, 2013. Jack was born in and spent his childhood in Belchatow Poland, from a family with Zionist ideals. At the onset of World War 2, he was taken to the Lodz Ghetto and then Auschwitz where he worked as a slave laborer for a daily slice of bread and watered down soup. He was sent on the infamous death march across Germany and liberated in Czechoslavakia on May 8, 1945. Only Jack and his father survived; Jack lost his mother, a sister, and two brothers. He emigrated to Israel after the war with his father, but left for Sweden shortly thereafter, where he was re-united with a childhood friend, Ruth Kryzman. In February 1953, shortly after Jack came to the United States, Jack and Ruth married in Bronx NY. They very recently celebrated their 60th anniversary with friends and family at the Legacy at Willow Bend, where Jack and Ruth have lived for the past 4 years. Jack and Ruth spent their first years together in Bronx NY, and then business opportunities caused them to move to the south, first Gastonia North Carolina (1959), where their children Stuart and Sheila were born, then Nashville Tennessee (1965), and finally to Dallas in 1970. Here, his sweater business, Brookshire Knitting Mills, thrived. At the same time, Jack and Ruth became active in the Jewish community. He was a co-founder of the Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center in 1984, a two term President, a member of the Board of Directors and executive committee, and was a regular speaker to Dallas school groups, telling his Holocaust story, in order to increase awareness of the Holocaust in the Dallas community. Involved in and a generous supporter of many Jewish organizations, Jack also served on the Board of Directors and received awards from Nishmat Am Congregation and Tiferet Israel Congregation and was a recipient of the Bnai Zion America-Israel Friendship Award. He was a generous supporter of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the JCC, the Hebrew Free Loan Society, B'Nai Zion, Hadassah, Naamat, the Jewish War Veterans, as well as the Holocaust Museums in Washington and Los Angeles, and a number of worthy causes in Israel, including Yad Vashem. He was also a generous supporter of many other Dallas organizations, including the Dallas Historical Society, and as a business leader, received an award from the Texas Chamber of Commerce. More than anything, Jack loved his wife Ruth; their story is one of mutual respect and admiration, never having a cross word with each other. His beloved daughter Sheila lives in Netanya, Israel, visits often, and remained a source of great pride and love for him always. His beloved son Stuart was tragically killed in a car accident at age 16. His "adopted son" Ran Friedman, who lived with Jack and Ruth in Dallas for many years, also remained a source of great pride and support to Jack. Jack lost his beloved sister Chaya, born and raised in Israel, to cancer twenty years ago. Jack was the kindest and friendliest man you would ever meet, a loving and supportive friend, and a man of high moral and ethical values. He received the respect and friendship of everyone he encountered, both in business and in his personal life. Despite the many tragedies in his life, Jack always maintained a positive and optimistic attitude. Contributions in memory of Jack Altman can be made to any of the following worthy organizations: The Stuart Lawrence Altman Scholarship Fund, dedicated to teaching the younger generations about the Holocaust, c/o the Dallas Holocaust Memorial Museum; Nishmat Am Congregation; Tiferet Israel Congregation; or the .

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Mar. 24, 2013
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