The Eulogy of Abraham Man - Eulogy for a Grandfather - Eulogy by a Grandson
I want to thank you all for being here today to join with us in saying a final farewell to one of the finest men most of us have ever known. These past months have been difficult as we anticipated this day. Your calls and cards and visits and prayers have helped so very much. Thank you.
When I was a young boy, our father started Boy Scout Troop 246 in Woodland Hills. It was the first and only all Jewish Boy Scout Troop in L.A. at the time. He did it for all the boys who were involved, of course, but I’ve always felt he really did it for Gideon and me. The troop went together and bought him a special license plate cover for his car. It said “Aba to his Sons – Akela to Everyone.” In scouting language, ‘Akela’ means wisdom and leadership and authority. And that so perfectly fit my Aba in every way all his life.
On the adult front, he was a founding member of Moreshet Yadut Teman.
Dad wasn’t Orthodox but he had a deep faith and lived it every day. He kept Friday night Shabbat with Brenda and with any of his kids or grandkids who may have been around at the right hour. He loved all the holidays and attending temple every week. He belonged to Congregation Beth Meir. He loved reading from the Torah and the Haftarah. He would frequently read the Haftarah in the Yemenite style… and, for the past 45 years he regularly blew the Shofar at Beth Meir on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He felt honored to be able to serve in that way…it drew him closer to G-d.
Dad was born in Israel – Holon (that was in Palestine back in those days) – and served in the Israeli Army in 1957. He came to America when he was 22. He arrived with about $200 in his pocket and the dream of a better life.
Dad’s father was not a man of encouragement and, essentially, told him the he would never succeed in life. While that isn’t a good thing for any father to say, that is probably what made him so determined to do well, to work harder than anyone else to make it. My dad ended up being a success at just about everything he ever did. All his adult life he had the ‘golden touch’ of success… I guess he proved his father wrong.
Dad had a wonderful zest for life. Every day was an adventure for him. He loved where he came from and all that came before, but he was always talking and thinking about what is yet to come and expecting it always to be good. He was an eternal optimist.
Dad retired in 2001 as the owner of Avremi Manzur and Associates plumbing. But, up until about a year and a half ago, he’d still do service calls for some of his old customers or help me out on some of my jobs. He was never a man to sit around and do nothing… and he loved the work. But dad wasn’t the ordinary plumber. How many plumbers do you know who have been professional dancers?
When he was a young man in Israel he danced with the Inbal Dance Company (Israel’s first and oldest Modern and Contemporary dance company) where he dance Yemenite and modern and Contemporary dance, traveling all over the world to perform. He was even in the cast of the movie “The Greatest Story Ever Told” in 1965. See? Not your typical plumber… I was so fortunate to work beside him for the past 24 years and learn the trade and be loved by this dear man.
My father’s greatest love in life, of course, was Brenda. Their first date was at a “Parents Without Partners” dance and he knew that evening that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her – to grow old together – to experience all that life has to offer together. He didn’t get as long as he had wanted, but the past 25 years have been the best of his life. Brenda, you were a true blessing in dad’s life. Thank you for loving him like you did and all you did, in his final months, to make his life good…
Gideon and I grew up knowing we were loved (we had an older brother, Amiram, who died at 6 months with Leukemia – a tremendous sorrow for our parents). We had everything boys could want, the best being a father who taught us values and courage and how to live life with integrity and joy. Brenda brought Jack, Marian, Charlotte, and Michelle into dad’s life. He loved all four of you like you were his own… Thank you for all the love you gave him.
Then there are the young ones – the grandkids – Rebecca, Sarah, Eliana, Ariella, Josellen, Jaei, Jordan, Niholas, and Glenn. Those nine brought more joy to their Saba than they will ever know. He burst with pride when he attended school events and saw his grandkids doing their parts. He was so very proud of all of you. I hope you will all remember all the things you did together – the little outings and the talks and the adventures he took you on. Use him as an example in your lives of someone who knew how to work hard and play hard and to accomplish, in the end, a life of true value.
And I know he was like an American grandfather to all his nieces and nephews and their kids here in California, too. Everyone loved their Saba.
Judy and Cal _________ were great friends to dad and Brenda. They met ___ years ago through Breda’s work and spent many wonderful Saturday evenings over dinner and cards – talking and laughing and enjoying each others company… Rachael, Yoni, Israel and Azri are friends dad knew, literally, all his life. Over the years they celebrated so many mile stones together. Their kids and grandkids all merged with our families and we all formed this huge, wonderful extended family… That kind of life history together meant so much to dad.
You know, dad was never given anything in life but he had it all… family, friends, dance, professional success, enjoyment, travel, love and respect of everyone he met and faith. Who could ask for more? And how could any of us ask for more than to have had a man like him in our lives?
Dad, you were always there for me and for all of us. You were a great father and an amazing role model. You taught us how to become strong and independent… how to love life and one another. We will all miss you but will hope to, one day, meet again. Our hearts will always hold love for you – forever.
Eulogy for a best father. Eulogy for a dad... Eulogy by a son.
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