Ethan George Weiss, 83, former president and CEO of Westlake Plastics in Lenni, Delaware County, and a figure in Philadelphia-area golfing circles, died Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mr. Weiss, who suffered from complications stemming from a long fight with kidney disease, had made his home in recent years on Amelia Island, Fla.
Known as "Big E" to friends and family, Mr. Weiss was a 1952 graduate of Haverford High School, where he played soccer and spent his summer vacations — as he liked to tell people — "digging graves and caddying," his family recalled.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Weiss played soccer and also ran track before graduating with a business degree from the Wharton School in 1956. It was while he was a junior at Penn that he met his future wife, Mary Priscilla Krampf, then a senior at Agnes Irwin School in Bryn Mawr. They married in 1958. Mrs. Weiss died in 2005.
Mr. Weiss joined the Navy after college, entering as an ensign after completing officer candidate school. After his marriage, he was assigned to Naval Air Station Port Lyautey in Morocco, where the couple's daughter was born.
After returning to the United States and settling in Downingtown, Mr. Weiss joined Westlake in 1960 while remaining in the Navy Reserve, from which he retired with the rank of commander.
He eventually became the firm's president and CEO before retiring in 1998. While at the firm, he launched and ran the Westlake Pro-Am Golf Tournament from 1975 to 1990.
Mr. Weiss was a member of the Whitford Country Club in Exton, where he served as a chairman of the golf committee and eventually as club president for 3½ years in the 1970s.
In 1974, he began to divide his time between Chester County and Amelia Island before moving there full time in 2000. On Amelia Island he started the Navy SEALS Foundation Charitable Golf Tournament in 2011, and ran it until his death.
He enjoyed traveling around the United States and Scotland, playing on many of the world's best golf courses.
Mr. Weiss is survived by his daughter, Hillary Latham; sons Brad and Geoff; and four grandchildren.
A celebration of Mr. Weiss' life was scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Sea Oats Room at the Amelia Island Club, 5 Ocean Club Dr., Amelia Island. The family plans a second celebration of his life in Pennsylvania at a date to be determined.