Remembering Loren Weiss
Engineer, businessman, golfer, aviator, poet
Loren Franklin Weiss, Cleveland Heights poet laureate from 2006 to 2007, died on June 15. My favorite memory of Loren is watching him, caught in a summer downpour, run all the way from the Heights Arts office next to the Cedar Lee Theatre to his car at the far edge of the parking lot. He was 80 years old at the time.
I sat on the committee that named Loren Weiss second poet laureate of Cleveland Heights. I remember reading with pleasure the poems in his application—especially “Watching Willie Work,” about metal casting. I thought, this poet has had a long and full life. He writes about things I don’t know about—such as molten metal, Fort McHenry, and the instrument panel of an airplane. He has the common touch. He would make a good poet laureate. And he did. Loren took great pleasure in serving Cleveland Heights and representing Heights Arts. He believed everyone had poems inside them.
Loren Weiss graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1944. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a varsity golfer, in 1947. Loren was president of Pressure Castings in Euclid for 31 years. He was also an avid golfer, fisherman, aviator and tennis player, and was president of Oakwood Country Club. He leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Lita Weiss, and three children.
I knew Loren Weiss only in his incarnation as a poet. Or, I should say, reincarnation, because he told me he had written poetry as a young man, but abandoned the practice for 40 years. He began writing again after he retired. An inspiration to others who stopped painting, playing an instrument, or writing poetry, Loren demonstrated that you can begin again.
Meredith Holmes is a freelance writer, editor and longtime resident of Cleveland Heights. She was Cleveland Heights's first poet laureate.