Our true Rotarian, father, grandfather, uncle and true friend and mentor of many District Rotoratins Elias (Elly) Ezra, left us, at the age of 73.
Elly was born July 21st, 1948, to Naomi Moses Ezra and Ezekiel Ezra, in Bombay, India. He grew up in Byculla. He came to the United States in 1966 to attend Tulane University, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. He continued his studies at Pace University, where he earned his MBA and completed coursework towards his Doctorate. He then worked for Western Electric and AT&T in New York and New Jersey. In 1989, he opened his own printing business, AlphaGraphics, that later became E-Digital Graphics, which he ran successfully for 32 years.
While Elly was successful in business, his greatest accomplishment was his family. He is survived by his devoted wife of 43 years, Pamela Ezra. Elly and “Pammy” met in 1977 and created a happy life together. He was the proud father of four children: Yally, Mitchell, Mindy and Melanie and sons-in-laws Evan, Mohamed, and Sunny. He was the adored grandpa of eight grandchildren: Leah, Micah, Eli, Ethan, Rosie, Asher, Noah, and Ari. He was predeceased by his parents, grandmother Nani, and brother, Eric Ezra. He is survived by his sister, Googie Tesser, and Auntie Hannah Moses.
Elly was a card carrying an avid member of Rotary International since 1984. After being District Governor, his loyalty and dedication grew even more. He would share his Rotary stories everywhere and district people enjoyed his “Kool Aid” tinted talk about Rotary and its effort to eliminate Polio as well as his full dedication and commitment to the “Gift of Life” program in our district. Elly made friends wherever he went. All Asian Indians were his half-brothers. I even manage to be his half-brother jokingly saying that I am a Nepalese Jew. (Buddhist can obviously be anything they want).
He was known for telling jokes and for his off-the-cuff speeches and toasts, especially to large audiences. I remember several Paul Harris Awards presentations he made, where Rotarians felt that Rotary International is a beacon of World Understanding that crosses all political, religious, and international borders and provide help wherever it is needed. And how Rotarians around the world have spread the message of World Understanding through acts of kindness, compassion, fellowship, and a common theme, Service Above Self.
He always spoke his mind. Before my district conference in 2014 in Somerset, he told me that very few people will attend the local conference, because he had an experience doing a local conference. I told him that don’t worry Governor, I have two happy Buddha’s helping me (Joe Horner and John Shockley), they will make sure that everything goes well, and they ran one of the most successful local district conference in 2014. John and Joe became Elly’s best friends after that. Joe and John even helped to clean up his office after Elly got sick. John spoke with Elly weekly.
Elly was proud of the successes of his children and sons-in-laws and was always eager to share their accomplishments.
Those who wish to honor Elly are asked to make a contribution in his honor to the Rotary Gift of Life New Jersey, via mail c/o David Beni, Treasurer, 16 Claremont Avenue, Maplewood, NJ 07040. The Mission of Gift of Life Inc. of NJ is to provide resources to treat children with congenital heart defects from anywhere in the world where assistance is needed. He was the chair of this committee for a long time.
Rotary District 7475 celebrated his Life and Legacy on October 27, 2021 at the Stony Brook Grille in Branchburg. Rotary District has set up a “Elly Ezra Memorial Scholarship” in Nepal.
He was a GREAT Rotarian and family man, and he adored all his children and grandchildren. In order to keep his memory alive and with his family’s desire to keep his ROTARY LEGACY going, Rotar District and the Asha Project has set up a MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP in his name in Nepal so that we can continue providing HOPE and OPPORTUNITIES for many poor children and continue his life’s quest for gaining more knowledge & wisdom and continue his Rotary LEGACY many more years of come. If you like to help, you can mail the check payable to the Friends of Nepal- NJ and mail it to PDG Dr. Tulsi Maharjan, P.O. Box 5015, Somerville, NJ 08876 or contact him at 908-458-7712.
All donations are tax deductible. Please check with your company that if your donation can be matched by your company as well. The Friends of Nepal-NJ is a 501 (c) non-profit organization.
Recent Scholarship distribution in Nepal 2022.
He will be missed by his Rotary friends, families members, and countless Rotary half brothers from around the world.
Here are some thoughts from his Rotary buddies…
PDG Adrienne Bzura:
Pam, I am so sorry not to be able to see you in person to offer my deepest sympathy & condolences on the loss of Elly. You know more than anyone the depth of love that connected you. There are no words that can truly ease the pain of loss, but if caring thoughts can help they are there with you now. You are not alone. Andrew & I are holding you close in our hearts & in our prayers. There is love that will last forever, and there are memories that will make you smile……..xoxo, Adrienne
I am profoundly sorry to hear about the passing of Elly. I was very fond of him and he was larger than life. I will miss him so much. Prayers to his entire family. May his memory be a blessing. Shalom to all.
PP Lewis Edge, Princeton Rotary:
Elly and I were dear friends for many years, have enjoyed many visits and shared countless phone calls and messages when we were apart. Last December (2020) he wrote to me with details about his long cancer battle and the ordeals that he had ahead of him. His deep love for his devoted wife, Pamela, and his smart beautiful children were among the reasons he fought so hard to continue living despite his suffering. I am heartbroken over his passing and extend my sincerest condolences to his family.
PDG D. Michael Hart, Westfield:
Elly was a great guy. He always had a joke ready and was a master story teller. He was a tireless worker, a very effective speaker, and very passionate about his causes. I worked with Elly closely on a major Rotary Fundraiser for many years, and he really put his all into it. Elly was devoted to his family, and very proud of his children and grandchildren. He will be missed.