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ALA Casting, Alarama Jewelry and Overnight Mountings founder Morris Adwar died last week at the age of 96.

New York--Morris Adwar, a World War II tail gunner who went on to start ALA Casting after the war, died Feb. 15. He was 96.

Born in Palestine (before it was Israel) on June 1, 1921, Adwar immigrated to the United States when he was five years old and spent a number of years in a New York orphanage before being reunited with his family and then joining the U.S. Army Air Forces.

He served in the Pacific Theater during the war, flying more than 60 combat missions as a tail gunner and bombardier on a B-17 Flying Fortress.

In 1945, he came out of the Air Force and started ALA Casting and, later, a finished jewelry company called Alarama and Overnight Mountings.

Adwar was heavily involved in the jewelry industry. He was president of the New York Caster’s Association, on the board of directors of MJSA and an active member of the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York. 

He was widely recognized and honored as a pioneer in the industry, and also was known as a generous philanthropist who devoted time and money to his religion and the Girls’ Town Or Chadash, a home for disadvantaged youth in Rekhasim, Israel.

His son, Jeff Adwar, said Wednesday that his father never really retired, as he enjoyed coming to work regularly to see his son and grandsons, as well as his longtime employees. Morris Adwar, in fact, came to work on his 96th birthday last June.

“He was just a wonderful man, one of The Greatest Generation,” Jeff said. “They don’t make people like that anymore.”

Adwar is survived by his wife of 73 years, Clara, and a total of 48 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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