Below is an email CEO and President Mark Masselli sent to staff yesterday, editted for the blog:
Today, I had a visit from some old friends who were active in Middletown in the early 1970’s and one of them brought along his wife. He and his family have been living on the west coast for the past 30 years. I asked his wife to tell me her story; she was raised in Vietnam and her family escaped in 1974, 4 days before America withdrew during the Vietnam War. They made their way to Connecticut and her older brother who had been trained as a pharmacist couldn’t find a job as he wasn’t trained in the US. He came to Middletown and showed up at Pelton’s Drug Store and the pharmacist/owner heard his plight and gave him a job as a clerk. The pharmacist helped him find a pharmacy school to attend and he got his degree – and moved to California where he opened the first Vietnamese Pharmacy in California.
The family always just called the owner “ Jerry” and when I was telling her about the Weitzman Institute which we had named after Jerry Weitzman – she had no idea and was so proud – Her family still talks about the kindness and quiet way of “Jerry” and all that he did for them coming to this country. They always honor his memory and keep his spirit alive.
For those of you who didn’t have a pleasure to meet either “Jerry” Weitzman or Lillian “Reba” Moses – you would be proud to know that their simple acts of kindness still ripple throughout the world.