15 June, 1941 - 2011

How do I speak about a man who has been part of every fiber of my being for most of my life?

You were like your father, Jack, best described as a philosopher with a poetic soul. A man always interested in the world, who so often despaired at the iniquities and injustices man perpetrated on his fellow man.

All who knew Jack knew his warm heart and soul, beneath his vast intelligence and often cynical persona. He only knew how to give and found receiving very difficult.

The first 8 years of his life were spent in deprivation, on many levels, in war-torn Europe and its aftermath. During this incredibly painful time of his early life, he constructed a very tight fitting, protective armor around his heart. Even, despite his best efforts over the years of his adult life, he couldn’t seem to penetrate this armor to access and release his very painful memories and experiences, to allow him to be the man he so much wanted to be.

When he was 22 years old he swept me into his heart with his love, warmth, intelligence and enduring friendship. How lucky was I, at my tender age of 16, to have miraculously recognized his wonderful traits and, despite the vast differences in upbringing and outlook on life and the huge challenges and resultant battlegrounds we therefore faced. Jack and I spent 49 years together, that were filled with love, happiness and mutual cherishing.

How blessed we were to have our 3 wonderful, beautiful, loving and talented daughters, Mandy, Tracie and Donna. Jack and I were always so very proud of the way you loved and cared for each other, and respected and celebrated each other’s differences.

Years later, Tracie and Ari and Mandy and Justin brought our precious grandchildren, Timnah, Jed, Ethan and Cayla into our lives, and we constantly basked in the sunshine they brought to us all. We were Jack’s world. He was the rock for each of us in our world. Over the past 13 very difficult months since his passing, we have all struggled to make sense of life without him.

I am so very grateful to have had your love, Jack. You were part of my every waking moment, and I was truly blessed to have had your love, care and devotion. The legacy to us, his girls and his cherished grandchildren, is his warmth, his love, and his intelligence, that we will carry within our hearts, as we step through every day of our lives.

For us to be like Jack is to honor his memory best.

- Marlene Katz

Jack Katz