Tribute to My Father

Jul 19, 2015

My father passed away at the age of 94 on July 4th weekend. He was a sweet, smart, kind man who adored my mother and all his family, and we all knew it. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to make people laugh. He also had a rock solid sense of integrity and an innate spirituality that led him to embrace Observant Judaism as an adult.

He was a Depression baby, the child of immigrants, who grew up in terrible poverty but managed to raise his children in suburbia. He was a World War II veteran, and one of the gifts that he passed on to me was his deep, abiding love for America. He believed it was a blessèd place, especially for Jews. It was to him truly the Golden Land of his parents’ dreams.

At his funeral the rabbi said that in the last few years when he walked my father in his wheelchair to the synagogue on the Sabbath, my dad asked him to stop every time they saw an American flag. They would stop and my dad would salute.

He died at 3:45 AM on July 5th at home in New York. But for me in California, it was 12:45 AM . When my sister called me with the sad news, I could still hear the fireworks. As my dearest friend said, he was a patriotic soldier to the end.

Dad was all that was good about this country. He understood its greatness and its boundless opportunity. He taught his children to embrace all it had to offer while giving to those less fortunate.

Everyone who knew him loved him. We will dearly miss him. May peace be upon him.