November 27, 1945 - August 7, 2017
Abraham Menis of Wylie, Texas passed away on Monday, August 7, 2017 at the age of 71.
Abraham was born under the toughest of circumstances, shortly after the war, on the 27th of November, 1945, in Rovnor, Poland. His parents were Josef and Genia Menis, sole survivors of their respective families, and the most wonderful, kindhearted people. It’s no surprise that nurtured their only child into the beautiful soul he became. They sadly also left us far too soon.
He spent his early childhood moving around as a refugee with his parents as they struggled to recuperate. They finally settled in Munich, Germany where his mother, Genia, took care of the family, his father, Josef, set about providing for his family and Rami finished his education.
He was a happy, intelligent and energetic kid that was fully devoted to his parents, who he found time to call daily, in fact multiple times per day, without fail, no matter where in the world he was. Even if he was in the middle of a jungle (and he was for a number of years) and without access to mobile phone networks, he would use an army style satellite phone to make sure his parents were ok. He was their world, and they were his. He excelled at sports like hockey, and was a keen bodybuilder. His mother put him in regular ballroom dancing classes, a skill he never failed to show off at any opportunity.
In the early 60s, he moved to Antwerp, Belgium, where he started a very successful diamond business. He was an expert, you could place any diamond into his palm, and he’d be able to immediately tell you it’s exact weight.
Antwerp is also where he fell in love with, and married Ruthie, his first wife, and mother of his children.
He wasn’t afraid of work. 12 hour shifts were standard throughout his life. But unlike most other hard workers, he always managed to get joy out of it, and it was rare to not catch him joking and smiling.
His marriage with Ruthie ended amicably after 10 years. He focused on his work, and providing for his children. He worked hard and would take every opportunity he could to spend time with children. All of his holidays from work were spent taking his children on vacations to the most incredible places and he delighted in giving us the type of experiences that he could never have had as a child.
A few years after the divorce he met Chantal, and her son, Sebastian, who he treated as his own. She was the love of his life, and his wife for the past 36 years. Together they lived all over the globe, finally settling back in his beloved Dallas.
He saw working hard to provide for others, be it family, helping friends in need, or giving generously to charitable organizations as both a joy and a duty. He wasn’t afraid of taking risks. He started multiple businesses, and took on many challenges, some more successful than others, but all exciting. From building from scratch an downing a massively successful diamond cleaving and polishing factory in Antwerp, to personally digging in the muddy trenches on Guyana looking for gold, to more recently rapidly becoming the top salesperson in the entire Zales company. Whatever challenges or disappointments life or people threw his way, and he had more than his fair share of both, especially more recently, he never ever gave up and he always remained positive with the hope and belief of creating a bright future for his family. Even two months ago he was talking about going to Africa to source diamonds. Right up until his recent episode of poor health, he was an unstoppable force of nature, frequently propped up with nothing but Chantal’s humour, loyalty, and complete devotion.
With his trademark ponytail and an abundance of humor and charisma, his presence would light up the room. The consummate host, he loved to recount tales of his adventures at social events, or on the golf course. None of these life stories would be exaggerated; they did not need to be, an incredible life journey with many ups and far too many downs but a story that is a book just waiting to be written about his unbelievable life. He always knew to celebrate the good things in life and he was always the life and soul of any party.
Abraham is survived by his wife, Chantal; sons, Sebastian and Dave; daughter, Sandra; and he leaves behind 5 wonderful grandchildren.
As he struggled in the hospital over the past few weeks he would occasionally come back to consciousness and talk about his parents. He could see them, and longed to be reunited with them. He kept asking for his, Tata, and his Mama.
Graveside services will be on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Fannin Memorial Gardens, 2038 TX-121, Bonham, Texas 75418. Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor will be officiating.
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