My dad Herbie, was so many things! Son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, brotherly cousin, singer, entertainer, warrior, expert dry cleaner, lover of life, golfer, hole-in-one-er, excellent patient, gentleman, flirt, sleeper, reader, friend and more. To me for most of my life he was a father. I adore him so. He seeped into my skin and my cells and I was hooked. He was just so sweet…like honey! Herbie was always there for me to wash away my heartbreaks, to listen to me and to be proud of me for my modest accomplishments, though he would act as if they were huge, and I would believe him. Herbie gave me so many gifts, the biggest and best one being confidence, especially during those rickety, teeter-tottery teenage years.

Herbie had the most positive and impenetrable attitude, coupled with a complete lack of fear. And yet he was the most unassuming person I have ever known. Herbie appreciated every single thing anyone ever did for him or gave to him. He was patient with everything. He never complained about a single thing.

Herbie was happy to be alive his whole life. He felt lucky to be alive after World War II and he felt lucky to be alive after his life-saving esophageal cancer surgery 15 years ago. When he returned from the hospital he marveled at the beauty of a duck family waddling along the pond outside the back of the house. In April and May of this year he told me he was glad to be alive. Herbie was not confined by his surroundings. His character and strength transcended all of that and brought him to a place where he understood where he was in his life, yet at the same time he embraced the drifting of his mind, that drifting that is a cushion against the unpleasantness of going downhill. He confronted these last months as he did everything in his life, with great grace.

Herbie was always a great inspiration to me. He was always content, calm and confident. Herbie to me was a model of a loving, accepting parent. Herbie, what will I do without you to help me know these things as I raise my children? You promised me you would never leave me. But I know that it was unfair of me to ask you to make that promise. So, I will have to accept that you have left for a while, but you will live in my heart forever, and I will see you on the other side. Your mother and father and brother Paulie are waiting for you now. I can just picture it. Paulie at the gate to greet you, and we know the first words out of his mouth “JAKE! What are you doing here?” But then he will be glad to have you by his side.

Herbie, you gave us another gift these last days. You showed us we do not need to be afraid.

To take from 2 beautiful songs which make me think of you Herbie: let the sun fall down all around you; let the night surround you with a blanket of star light. I will say goodnight, not goodbye. You will never leave my heart.

So, here is what I wish for you now: rest, catch up on your golf, newspapers and westerns, and watch over us so that we feel the warmth of your love until we are with you again.

When my daughter, Julie, attended the funeral services for her uncle Herbie. She was very touched by his daughter Cathy’s eulogy, and Julie thought I would like to read the sweet thoughts and memories Cathy shared with mourners. And now, I in turn, share them with you.

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