Obituary of Selig Wassner
Selig O. Wassner, 96, died on December 2. Born in Jawarow, Poland, he was deported with his family to Kazakhstan in
1940. From 1943 until 1946, he served in the Soviet army. In 1946, along
with his family, he registered as a displaced person and was encamped in
Dieburg, Germany. As a displaced person, he was granted a scholarship to
Heidelberg University, from which he received the degree of interpreter in
German and Russian. In 1949 he was granted a displaced-person scholarship
by Albright College and was graduated in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree with a
Spanish major and a German minor. In December 1951 he married Annabel
Sanders, a fellow student. The Wassners moved to Teaneck in 1956 with their
first two children.
After working as an export traffic manager for more than 20 years, he
established himself as a fulltime free-lance translator in 1973. Prior to
that, he had translated numerous short stories from various languages,
several of which were published in a periodical called "Short Story
International" and one in Esquire Magazine. In 1968 Frederick Fell, Inc.
published a collection of his Russian translations under the title,
"Treasury of Russian Short Stories 1900 to 1966." Grove Press paid him a
finder's fee for bringing Mikhail Bulgakov's novel, "The Master and
Margarita" to their attention.
An avid chess player, he won nine trophies in local tournaments between 1971
and 1986. Then he gave up chess for Scrabble. He established Scrabble Club
251 in Teaneck. As director of the Scrabble club he conducted tournaments
at various venues throughout Bergen County.
He is survived by his wife, Annabel, daughter, Natalie, and son, Frank, of
Teaneck, son Jesse and his wife Linda, of Bogota. His firstborn son,
Jacob, died in 1973. He also leaves two granddaugters, Karen, of Bogota,
and Jaclyn, of Teaneck, and a great grandson, Gray Lawson of Teaneck, a sister, Ruth Althschuler, of Orlando, Florida, two
nieces, Sharon Abramson and Marla Priceman, also of Florida, five
grandnieces, four great-grandnieces, and five great-grandnephews.
Anyone who wishes to do so may make a donation in his memory to Albright
College, Reading, PA.
The funeral service will take place on Wednesday, December 5 at 11:00 a.m. at Temple Sinai of Bergen County , 1 Engle Street in Tenafly.
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