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February 7, 1932 ~ November 16, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Sandor Yelen, Esq.
February 7, 1932 – November 16, 2023
Attorney Sandor Yelen, 91, of Kingston, having been blessed with a long and full life, passed away peacefully at home on November 16th, surrounded by family, with Janice, his loving wife of 54 years, by his side.
Sandor was born in Carey’s Patch, Ashley, on February 7 th , 1932, the eldest son of the late Morris and Mary Yelen. He graduated from Meyers High School in 1949 and Wilkes University in 1953. He next attended The Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, PA, where he earned a Juris Doctor in 1956 and was editor of the Law Review. Upon graduating, he began to practice law with his uncle, the late Attorney David Yelen, and later alongside his brother Attorney Barry A. Yelen. He continued to practice for decades as Yelen Law Offices in Wilkes-Barre, including with his sons, Attorneys Michael and Jeffrey Yelen, who later joined after also graduating from Dickinson Law.
Sandor was well-known and respected by his fellow attorneys, judges, and elected officials, along with so many others in the community. He had served as Solicitor for the Wilkes-Barre Police Pension Fund, Solicitor for the District Judges of Luzerne County, Special Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Solicitor of Luzerne County, and member of the Advisory Board of Penn State Wilkes-Barre.
He was on the Board of Trustees of the Dickinson School of Law, and for more than 20 years served as President of the Dickinson School of Law Northeast Pennsylvania Alumni Association. Active in state, county, and local government activities, he is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, past Judge Advocate for the American Legion Post 132, and member of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley, Wilkes University Council, former March of Dimes Chairman, United Way, United Jewish Appeal, a former member of Temple Israel Board of Trustees, and a former member of the United Hebrew Institute School Board. In 1983, he was a recipient of the Key to the City of Wilkes-Barre from the Mayor, who proclaimed December 12, 1983, as "Attorney Sandor Yelen Day" in Wilkes-Barre, in recognition of services rendered to the Wilkes-Barre Police Pension Fund.
In addition to his professional career, Sandor served his country with two tours of duty in the United States Army, where he was a member of the 322nd Military Police, Criminal Investigation Unit. He was former legal counsel for the Eastern Professional Basketball League, where he was one of the owners of the Wilkes-Barre Barons basketball team, as well as an organizer and former owner of Big Ten Racing Stables. With a strong Jewish identity passed down from prior generations, he and his family have been longtime members and proud supporters of the Temple Israel and Ohav Zedek synagogues, and the Jewish Community Center.
But Sandor’s legacy goes far beyond his accomplishments. Those who knew him – or even knew of him – truly revered him. At home, whether as Dad, Zaide (Yiddish for grandfather), Sandor, Mr. Yelen, or Condor (the only approved nickname), he was known as a true family man who loved his time at Greenberg’s Deli, Perugino’s, and watching the horse races. He taught his family there is always room for one more at the holiday table or the beach house on Long Beach Island.
In addition to his parents, Sandor was preceded in death by a sister, Linda Yelen Williams.
Sandor is survived by his wife, the former Janice Sherin of Hudson, as well as three children: Attorney Michael D. Yelen (Sherri) of Kingston; Attorney Jeffrey A. Yelen (Julie) of Kingston; and Lisa Schwartz (Evan) of Brooklyn, NY. He was also a proud grandfather and regularly spent time with his eight grandchildren: Olivia, Jacob, Charlotte, and Valerie Yelen, Willa and Griffin Schwartz, and Charlie Schaffer and Jack Yelen. Also surviving are his brother, Attorney Barry A. Yelen, as well as many other nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends with whom he maintained very close relationships.
The family wishes to also express sincere love and appreciation to Mary Erwine, and the home health aides, especially Marina Akhmeteli, who helped make his recent years so comfortable at home.
A funeral service will be conducted on Sunday, November 19, at noon, at the Rosenberg Funeral Chapel, 348 S. River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, with family receiving condolences starting at 11 a.m. Condolences may also be offered at Shiva on Sunday evening at the Jewish Community Center 613 S J Strauss Lane, Kingston, PA 18704, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Shiva will continue on Monday and Tuesday at the family home in Kingston, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., on both days.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sandor’s memory to Temple Israel, www.templewb.org, 613 S.J. Strauss Lane Suite #2, Kingston, PA 18704, or to a charity of choice.