Solomon Gartenhaus

January 3, 1929 - June 9, 2022
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Soller-Baker Funeral Homes & Crematory, West Lafayette Chapel
1184 Sagamore Pkwy W.
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Sunday 6/12, 1:00 pm
Sons of Abraham Cemetery
Montifore St.
Lafayette, IN 47905
Sunday 6/12

Memorial contributions in Solomon’s name may be given to Sons of Abraham Synagogue, PO Box 2671, West Lafayette, IN 47996-2671.

Solomon Gartenhaus, Professor Emeritus of Purdue, passed away on June 9, 2022, at the age of 93 at Westminster Village, West Lafayette. He was born in Kassel, Germany on January 3, 1929, and immigrated to the U.S in 1937 with his mother, father, and four siblings. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School for BoysContinue Reading

Stephen Higgins left a message on July 11, 2023:
So here it is, 10 July 2023, and while trying to throw away literally half the belongings I own, I come across two of my most prized possessions, Solomon's volumes I and II of Basic Principles. These books have set the standard for me of what a textbook should be... clear and concise. I remember well Solomon demonstrating with vigor the Faraday cage in the Physics Hall. I only had cause to visit him once in his office, where I contested the freshman physics (162?) exam points lost on the name of a particular physics law. I showed that I had used that same law a couple questions later to correctly compute the current generated by a field passing through a conducting loop, and asked if using the law was not more important than knowing it's name. He defended, saying everyone who uses physics knows the names of the laws. I protested that I was learning what was being taught, and that the names of laws were unimportant compared determining when and how to use them. He hesitated, looked through the rest of my exam and said, "You're going to get an A anyway, we're done here," restoring me no points. I've always held him in the highest regard, and will keep his textbooks as long as I can. Thank you, Solomon.
Arnold Sweet left a message on June 12, 2022:
When I was a grad student at PU, I took his course. I was happy to be able to keep in touch through the Westminster online meetings. He was a great person.
Manuel Villa left a message on June 11, 2022:
Solomon Gartenhaus knew me, literally, since before I was born. He and Johanna, his surviving wife, changed me and my family’s lives.It all started about 50 years ago, when my parents arrived to West Lafayette from Mexico. They had only been married for about a year and my father was starting a Ph.D. program in Purdue. Neither of them had never lived outside Mexico, barely spoke English and knew absolutely nobody in town. And it was in those conditions that, from the day they arrived, the had the fortune of meeting the Sol, Jo and their teenage sons, Michael and Kevin.The Garthenhauses are the ultimate proof that family is not defined by blood alone. Since my earliest memories, my siblings and I grew up calling them tío (uncle) Sol and tía (aunt) Jo. We spent our childhood summers at their home in West Lafayette. Not only do I owe it to them that I speak English, but those summers are some of the happiest memories of my life.Particularly fond in my memory are the long walks we would take around West Lafayette with uncle Sol and Shmini, their mixed black labrador. Uncle Sol wold say aloud, mixing Spanish and English, “¿Quieres dar un walk?” Me and my sisters would yell either “yeeeeee!” or “¡sííííííííííí!” while Shmini would howl and run towards the entrance door and nibble the black cane that uncle Sol always carried in those walks.About once a week, Sol would ask us seriously “Who wants punishment?” As we excitedly responded “me, me, me!”, he would smile, pack us all int the car and head for Dairy Queen. My favourite “punishment” was the butterscotch-covered vanilla cone. We looked forward to being punished every week.For 8 or 9-year-old me, his and Jo’s house was like a small magical museum. Sol had innumerable devices, toys and puzzles designed to demonstrate physical phenomena: A set of Newton’s cradle balance balls; a mirror-layered saucer that would project a hologram of whatever you placed inside it; mechanical puzzles; variations of the Rubik’s cube; and the list goes on.And this hand-made dill pickles were, beyond argument, the best. I recall him spending hours in the basement preparing them each summer. Back in Mexico we all knew them as “Tio’s pickles”, and they were one of the top things I looked forward to sunk my teeth into every summer.Those summers also introduced me to the Jewish community in Lafayette. I fondly remember the occasional visits to the synagogue, where I would wear a yarmulka, something I recall particularly fun as a child.For decades, Sol and Jo also came each winter to Mexico to stay with us. Having them over for Christmas and New Year’s became a natural occurrence. And with my birthday being in late December, year after year it became a tradition that they would buy my cake.Even in adulthood, they kept extending their hospitality. When I became engaged to my now wife, who is from Japan, they very kindly took her in for three months so she could learn English. They had never met her before. All they know was that she was my fiancee, which was more than enough for them to open their home to her as well. They were in their late 70s at the time, yet months later they would endure the painstaking flight to Tokyo, Japan, to attend our wedding.I don’t know what my and my family member’s lives would be today if my parent’s had never the Gartenhaus family. I do know that becase because they met uncle Sol and aunt Jo, our lives became richer than they would have been otherwise. Not only did they become our family, but they imbedded in all of us the desire to go beyond what we know, get out of our comfort zone, travel, live abroad, learn languages. I can’t imagine any of that would have happened if it wasn’t for them.The sandiness of my uncle’s departure accompanied by the joy of knowing that he, aunt Jo, their late sons Michael and Kevin, left us with an greatly extended family composed of Kelly and Jane, their daughters-in-law, and all their grand children, Josheph, James, Matthew, Zach and Lauren.Thank you for everything, tío. We miss you.
Richard Ismail left a message on June 11, 2022:
Mike and Kevin, Sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a fixture at Purdue! I know my Mother spoke highly about your Dad as they were involved in WALLA for a number of years at the same time.
Gail Beck left a message on June 9, 2022:
So very sorry to hear of Sol's passing. I enjoyed years of working with him in the WALLA organization. A great loss to the world of education.
Soller-Baker Funeral Homes, Inc. left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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