Stanley Meisel was remembered for his entrepreneurial endeavors and his hands-on approach of giving back to the community.
Rabbi Roger Klein, associate rabbi at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, where Meisel was a member, described him as a “person of great interest in a variety of businesses.”
Meisel died Feb. 1 at age 91.
Upon his father’s retirement, Meisel took over Meisel Tire Co. in 1950 and changed the name to Meisel Motors. From that he opened his first dealership on Carnegie Avenue, a Lincoln-Mercury dealership. He subsequently expanded to include Honda and Kia dealerships, along with an active automobile and equipment leasing business.
He was also involved in the formation of Jay Pontiac, Jay Honda, ALCO Furniture Rental, Carnegie Insurance Budget & Service Companies, Carnegie Leasing Co. and Carnegie Companies, Inc.
However, his entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there. He built on his father’s interest in real estate and began to acquire commercial real estate properties, which included hotels and shopping centers.
While he stayed busy with many ventures, he also made sure to allow time to give back to the community, his daughter, Kim Pesses, said.
“He felt if you were lucky enough to be able to be in that position to give back that it was your responsibility to give back to your community and be involved actively,” she said. “Something that was very important to him was he wasn’t just giving, it was giving in a way that would help people become self-sufficient, kind of a teach-a-man-to-fish philosophy.”
Among his proudest achievements were establishing the E.J. Meisel Scholarship Fund at Glenville High School in Cleveland and the formation of The Meisel Family Foundation at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.
Meisel’s hands-on approach to giving back was evident in his scholarship fund at Glenville High School. Klein said Meisel didn’t just give money through these scholarships, but he was involved in the process of who would receive a scholarship.
“He got from the counselors a list of worthy students and he received essays from these students ... he was helpful in deciding in who would get these scholarships,” Klein said. “He also involved his family, his children in these processes as a way of teaching his children about civic responsibility.”
Pesses said it was through processes like these that Meisel was able to pass on his values to his children and grandchildren.
“He really wanted to teach us those values and he taught by doing instead of just by telling,” she said. “By involving us and showing it was important to him that we were involved, he taught us those values and really hoped through the family foundation, it would be carried on to the next generation, our children. That was really important to him as well.”
Among his community involvement, he was president of Oakwood Club and Cleveland Play House Club. He served as chair of the Federation’s automotive decision and was a trustee of The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Hebrew Free Loan Association and Menorah Park.
Meisel is survived by his wife, Barbara “Bobby” (nee Shiffman); sons, Michael (Jan) Meisel, Peter (Susi) Meisel and Robert Meisel; and daughter, Kim (Paul) Pesses; grandchildren, Alison Meisel, Dr. Erin (Andrew) Morris, Josh (Rachel) Meisel, Logan Pesses (Dr. Britt Catanach, fiancée), Cole (Audrey) Pesses, Dr. Cari Meisel, Eric Meisel and Leah Meisel; and great-grandchildren, Oliver, Elli, Holden and Cameran. He was the brother of the late Sarane Cohn.
Services were held Feb. 4 at The Temple-Tifereth Israel.