Robert F. Weis, Former Chairman of Weis Markets, Passes

Robert F. Weis, Former Chairman of Weis Markets, Passes

Robert F. Weis, a longtime leader in the food retailing industry and Chairman of Weis Markets has passed away at 96 years of age.

Robert F. Weis, Longtime Chairman of Weis MarketsIn his tenure at his family company, Robert was the principal figure in the growth and continued success of Weis Markets, beginning at the company early in his life when he needed to stand on a box to operate a cash register.

After graduating from Yale University in 1941, Robert was drafted into the U.S. Army, ultimately serving in World War II in the rank of captain.

After returning to the company founded by his father, Robert worked in various positions including operations, distribution, marketing, procurement, human resources, real estate and store construction. Ultimately, he would oversee the company’s finances, real estate, and store construction.

In the subsequent decades, Robert helped oversee Weis Markets’ growth and expansion into six states. In 1995, Robert became Chairman of Weis Markets, Inc. Since 2009, his company has made record investments in its growth, acquiring 11 units, upgrading more than 100, and opening nine new stores. 

Robert is survived by his wife of 57 years, Patricia, who together have three children: Jonathan Weis, who serves as Weis Markets’ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Colleen Ross Weis of New York City, and Jennifer Weis Monsky, also of New York City. Robert is also survived by nine grandchildren and a sister, Ellen Wasserman of Baltimore.

Best known for his strong belief in philanthropy, Robert and his wife have supported a number of major philanthropic projects and causes, including: Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where the couple established the Robert F. and Patricia G. Ross Weis Professorship in Judaic Studies and the Weis College House, Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA where they helped establish the Blough-Weis Library and the Stella Freeman Weis Cultural Endowment, the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation of Boston, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Sunbury Community Hospital during its non-profit years. Robert and Mrs. Weis also helped establish the Department of Judaic Studies at Yale University and endowed a professorship for this department.

In another extreme act of kindness, Weis and his wife sponsored a flight of Jewish survivors who emigrated to Israel following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Weis was generous to numerous local causes in his hometown of Sunbury and the Central Susquehanna Valley where he often made private donations to local charities. In recent years, his company has made approximately $6 million in donations to community-based health care organizations, food banks, educational foundations and cultural institutions throughout its five state marketing area. 

AndNowUKnow would like to offer our sincere condolences to the Weis family and Robert’s friends during this difficult time.