William Weiss

Bill Weiss passed away on November 10, 2015 at the age of 72. For twenty years, he and his lovely wife, Addie, ran a well regarded stamp auction in Allentown, and for the last fifteen years or so Bill ran an expertization service and provided his own certificates. As a dealer, Bill was highly ethical, and the stamps in his auction were carefully described. As an expert, he provided a rapid certification service (usually just a couple of weeks from the time he received the stamp until you got the certificate), and considering that he did all of the work himself, the quality of his certificates was excellent. And the cost was very affordable. In this day where Philatelic Foundation certificates can cost up to $750 or more, affordable certificates are a real boon to the hobby. Further, Bill offered an identification service, where he just told you the Scott number of the stamps (very useful for the hard to distinguish Bank Note issues, for instance-Scott #134-191) for just a few bucks per stamp. Certainly he made a living as an expert, but clearly also he priced his work so that novices and less sophisticated collectors could afford to get a second opinion for less expensive stamps.


Bill often mentioned to me his long relationship with Apfelbaum and how my grandfather, Earl, encouraged his interest in philately when he first came to our office in the 1950s. Bill credited my grandfather with nudging him towards becoming a stamp professional by offering him good lots to buy and credit for which to pay for them. Bill worked for many years at Bethlehem Steel (Bill lived in Allentown) and was a part time dealer for many years before he went into business full time. I spent many hours talking to Bill and reading his plentiful writing. In print, like many philatelic writers going back to the caustic Stephen Rich in the 1940s, he could be acerbic and did not suffer fools gladly. In person and on the phone, he was charming and gracious. We shared stories and memories. We liked the same people and (more importantly) disliked most of the same as well. He was a friend who I will sorely miss.


Everyone who really knew Bill knew his wife Addie. She was his wife, his best friend, his love, and his business partner—and really his life. Recently, her health began to deteriorate, and she got sicker and sicker. I often think about what love for one’s spouse means. As I get older, more and more it seems to me that loving means staying as healthy as possible to be there to help your partner navigate the very degrading parts of getting old and sick and dying. Bill was there for Addie. It was what he wanted to do. When I heard that Bill died, my first thought was, “Oh no, what will Addie do?” Then I read that Addie had passed away two months before Bill did.

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