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Abe "Al" Wexler, 85, founder of Al's Auto Supply Inc, passed away Thursday May 17, 2012 in Everett, WA. Abe was born in Portland, Oregon, December 10, 1926 to Fannie and Phillip Wexler.
Abe "Al" Wexler
Both Abe's parents immigrated to the United States in 1926 from Russia to make a better life in America. Abe was a child of the depression which deeply influenced his life and work ethic as an adult. He attended Failing Elementary School and graduated from Lincoln High School of Portland. Abe then went right to work in the automotive aftermarket field to help support his family.
Abe met his future wife, Gilda, at a convention for Jewish youth and courted her for about two years. They were married on April 6, 1946 at a beautiful wedding in Portland, Oregon. They were married for 66 years.
Abe and Gilda were blessed with a son, Eldon, in 1948, who worked side by side with Abe throughout his life.
Abe and Gilda moved to the Seattle/Everett area in 1950 and Abe worked at many jobs including shoe sales, Boeing, and selling automotive parts to name a few. It was the love of the automotive aftermarket sales that sparked the birth of the first Al's Auto Supply store in Everett, WA located at the corner of Everett Ave and Lombard. With the help of his wife and son, Eldon, Al's Auto Supply grew to 14 stores with over 200 employees. The chain of Al's Auto Supply stores was sold in 1984 to Paccar. After the stores were sold, Abe remained active in business with his son, purchasing, selling, developing and managing real estate.
He particularly loved and enjoyed his Seaside, Oregon home and his friends and activities there. Abe liked to be involved in the political life at Seaside and often attended city council meetings where he was an active participant and positive influence for the city of Seaside. Abe loved to garden there and was often stopped to discuss his beautiful plantings. Many life time friendships began with talking over the fence after admiring the lovely garden. Abe adored helping neighbors with projects as well as contributing generously to many causes he felt were important.
Abe was known for his gentle, kind, and loving ways. His humorous wit and charming stories along with his tremendous love of family will forever be his legacy.
Abe is survived by his wife, Gilda of 66 years. He is also survived by his son, Eldon who married Carolyn Siegel in June of 1989 when Carolyn and Abe immediately became and remained more than close. Also survived by grandchildren, Jakob (Koby) who was born in 1992 and Aria, born in 1993. They were absolutely the shining and sparkling light of his life. They all spent hours at a time together listening to stories and sharing a wonderful and blessed life with their grandpa. Also surviving him is his sister-in-law, Eloise Haskins of Bellingham, WA; and several wonderful and committed nephews and nieces; and friends from all over the country.
Funeral services for Abe Wexler will be held in Portland, Oregon on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at noon at Congregation Beth Israel Cemetery. There will be a special memorial service in Everett, Washington at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 21 at Temple Beth, OR.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to
or Temple Beth Or www.templebethor.org
Published in The Herald (Everett) from May 19 to May 21, 2012