My Father's Funeral

January 9th, 2007


My father, Edgar Gerald Zeitlin, died ("passed away" seems too euphemistic - you "pass" someone in the left lane of the highway - my father "died") on January 6th, 2007, at 1:27 AM. He died at home, in his den, surrounded by his family (wife, three children, two of three grandchildren, and two in-laws or in-law equivalents). His death was as peaceful as we could hope for; his body ravaged by pancreatic cancer but his will undiminished. He was responsive to the last, squeezing my sister's hand as I whispered to him minutes before his death. He did not die in a hospital, surrounded by machines, connected to tubes and needles. He died the way people are supposed to die, and to the extent that we could see anything about this as a good thing, we saw that as a good thing.

One of my sister's friends who grew up next door to us, two of his oldest and best friends, my mother Renate and all three of my father's children spoke at his funeral, held at the Gutterman-Musicant funeral home in Hackensack, NJ, near his home in Englewood. Prior to the eulogies we showed a video slide show originally created by my sister Diane for my father's 75th birthday party in August, 2005. I've collected the written eulogies from the five folks that have them, and summarized one of the other two.

I've also included two letters written to or about my father a long time ago (back in the 1940's) - one from his older sister to a long defunct newspaper, and one to him from his older sister's first husband, who was in Europe during the latter stages of WWII. I think that these show the regard that people held him in even as a teenager.

While numerous books could be written about my father, these narratives will indicate the effect that my father had on others, both friends and family.

Slide Show:



Addendum (8/8/2008):

While digging through all of the sundry objects my father left behind, we found a small tape recorder which he would use to dictate letters, business documents, and most of all, billing statements. While 95% of the tapes that we found contained only the highest quality mind-numbing accounting billing statements in voice form, we did manage to come across about 75% of a letter that my father was dictating to the New York Times - the beginning had apparently been recorded over.

This letter was ostensibly about some editorial that they had printed which, inducing from listening, had apparently excoriated the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld regime for one or more various crimes which they no doubt committed. At any rate, I've digitized this recording, and as it's the only extant recording of his voice that won't put you to sleep immediately (unless you're stimulated by accounting billing statements), I've made it available for listening here.

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Copyright 2007 - 2017, All Rights Reserved, Marc J. Zeitlin

Last Updated: January 8, 2017 (Added MP4 slide show)