One of the founders of Champaign Surplus, a longtime institution of Downtown Champaign, passed away last week. Anne Weisel, 97, was a massive part of the growth of the store, which opened in 1947.
Here’s a bit from the News-Gazette:
Anne was born Feb. 6, 1918, in Chicago, the daughter of Benjamin and Esther Watman Berman. She married Leo Weisel on Aug. 17, 1940, in Chicago. After World War II, she and Leo moved to Champaign-Urbana. In 1947, they opened Champaign Surplus in downtown Champaign. Anne was an excellent student, graduating second in her high school class, and her intelligence, business acumen and expertise contributed significantly to the success of Champaign Surplus. Anne was instrumental to the growth of the store, and she stayed active in the business until her retirement in 1988. Her example served as an inspiration to the two generations who have followed in operating Champaign Surplus in downtown Champaign.
Our thoughts go out to everyone at Champaign Surplus, a true staple of the local business community.