Ike Alhadeff

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Isaac N. "Ike" ALHADEFF Born January 6, 1916. Died peacefully at age 96. Ike was a graduate of Leschi Grade School, Garfield High, and the University of Washington. He worked in the family fish business with his father and two brothers until, in his twenties, he joined the Armed Forces ski troops. From there he transferred to pilot training in the Army Air Corps. From his base in England he and his crew flew many WW11 missions in his B17. The plane was shot down over Germany, and Ike was a prisoner of war in Stalin Gruft #3, from which the well-known, butill-fated "Great Escape" was bravely attempted. Fortunately, the then 1st lieutenant Alhadeff decided to stay with his men, and following 10 months of hardship and hunger, was liberated by the Allies at the end of the war.

He returned to the family business, which was known over time as Palace Fish and Oyster Co., Whiz Fish Products Co., Whiz Eardley Fisheries, and Pacific Fish Co., and to a wonderful life filled with friends and associations. He belonged to Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, and was a life member of Elks (BPOE), St. John's Masonic Lodge #9, Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, and the Nile Shriners. Ike never missed a Husky home football game in 65 years. He enjoyed his gym group, daily breakfast group, the lunch guys, and dinners at the round table at Vito's.

Ike never married, but had a family of nephews and nieces and their children and grandchildren. He was known for his good humor, his unfailing kindness, and astonishing generosity. He was a universally loved and admired man, a remarkable friend who was Uncle Ike to countless adoring fans. Ike was truly unique, and he will be sorely missed. Funeral services will be held at Evergreen Washelli, Tuesday, January 24 at 9:00 a.m. Remembrances: Kline Galland Center, 7500 Seward Park S., Seattle 98118
Published in The Seattle Times on January 24, 2012

Eulogies for Ike
Joel Benoliel Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers

Thank you for coming to this service for David Alhadeff, my mother’s brother and my uncle – who we all fondly call Uncle D.

While Uncle D wasn’t well these last few years……I remember him for the kind, intelligent, caring and wonderful man and uncle that he was.

Uncle D was a happy guy who enjoyed life. He had an infectious smile and a great laugh. I remember loving to go to his and Charlotte’s house on the hill in El Cerrito. He loved to tease and play little jokes on everyone. Both my sister and I remember that as small children, back in the day when automatic garage door openers were a novelty, that he’d have us go out in front of the garage door and say “open Mr. Delco” and the garage door would, for us, magically open. He’d laugh and laugh as we’d ask how that happened and he just said, “it’s magic”.

Trips with him to Yosemite, a family tradition for many years, were always great fun. He’d charge up the mountain, and sometimes springing out from behind a rock to “get ya”. And he was always there to help. My Dad remembers Uncle D. carrying me, as a young, but no longer small child, on his shoulders because I didn’t want to walk anymore. And I remember him talking me, patiently, up the long windy and hot path to the top of Yosemite falls.

For so many years, particularly while Charlotte was still with him, he enjoyed so many things. Walks in the mountains, art fairs, travel throughout the world. And he always walked. Up the stairs two at a time to his office at Barrows hall and then, later in life, daily multi mile walks in Alameda. He and I once calculated that he’d walked the circumference of the earth more than once.

Intelligence and curiosity is another theme that stands out for me. As I imagine most of you know, Uncle D was a professor and an Associate Dean at the UC Berkeley Business School. To say that he was incredibly smart is an understatement. He was also a hard worker, who was dedicated to his students and his research. For days on end, he would get up, have breakfast, and go back to his study reading, writing and trying to understand how people really made decisions. I can still picture the leather chair and writing table at the back end of his study in his El Cerrito house. And I remember listening as he and my Dad, who is also an economist, would discuss my Uncle’s theories as he was writing one of his books.

While his intelligence and his humor and his smile are standout characteristics for me, nothing tops the fact that all around, he was just one of the good guys. He cared deeply and passionately about his family. His relationship with Charlotte from the good times they enjoyed together to the support and care giver role he later took on, would be a movie if it hadn’t been so very real. And he was very close to his sisters and parents, for whom he was available for advice and support. I’m sure we all have hundreds of memories of David like this. For me, one of the strongest is that I remember as a student at Berkeley, I would stay at his house the night before econ exams. He would take time away from his work to help me study for micro economics while Charlotte made dinner.

But for me, it’s not just his family relationships, it’s the way he treated everyone, from the waitress at Franchesco’s, a restaurant he liked to go to with Charlotte to the neighbors in his apartment building. And even when things were so very difficult for him the last several years, he was a gentle man who thought of others. He was a kind man. He was good man.
And now, on behalf our family we’d like to invite you to a small reception after the service to share stories of Uncle D and celebrate his role in our lives. It will be at the Waterfront Marriott, in downtown Seattle, at 2100 AlaskanWay.