Stanley Stein – Michael Zelig ben Asher – 2019

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I just want to add a few words to that very wonderful tribute.

Since Owen wrote it, and Sue and Larry helped, there is a part missing. These three adult children have been astonishing during this last stage of their father’s life, complicated by their mother’s hospitalization. Stan was at home dying, and Barbara was in the hospital, and somehow they got him down to the hospital to see her and be with her.

There was nothing that they didn’t do for their parents. They didn’t say anything about this in the speech you just heard, because they are their father’s children. Stan was a very humble and unassuming man who never tooted his own horn; he just did the right thing and the caring thing and the loving thing. What these kids have done during this last period of time was beyond belief. They put everything else in their lives to the side and they were there every possible second. I want to thank the people at their workplaces for their flexibility. And I want to give a special thanks to Roy and Bonnie and Jennifer for their understanding and support.

Another topic that hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that Barbara and Stan have come to our synagogue morning minyan, every Tuesday morning for many, many years. And every Tuesday morning at the end of the service, Barbara has read the Psalm in English. I started thinking about this because Patti has been filling in for them recently, and last Tuesday, because Patti knew what was coming soon, she couldn’t read it, because she was so upset. And I remembered that we used to have a different prayer book with a different translation of the psalm, and the last part that Barbara would read went like this:

But you will die as do ordinary mortal men;

You will perish as do all earthly princes.

Except Barbara sometimes read ‘princes’ as “princess,” and Stan would smile as a tender tease,

and Barbara would smile and blush.

Well, as the kids just said, Barbara and Stan were like a princess and a prince. And now Stan has died, like all earthly princes.

It’s true, even princes pass away, but some of them pass away after a long and full life, and we need to be okay with this.

Stan Stein died in the fullness of life; he was not just ready; he was beyond ready to go.

And we have to be ready to deal with this. Stan Stein died like a prince; his wife was in the hospital bed next to his in their living room; all three kids were asleep in the house, just like when they were young. So if there is such a thing as a good and loving death, this was it.

To princess Barbara, and his amazingly loyal children Owen and Susan and Larry, and his loving sister Patti, and his devoted grandchildren, we wish you G-d’s comfort at this sad time. May he rest in peace. Let us say Amen.