My Dad, Ivan Rosenstrach (1936-2023)

Greetings to my dear eaters and readers. I hope you all had joyful and meaningful holidays however you celebrate. I write this first newsletter of 2024 with a deeply heavy heart — my father, Ivan Rosenstrach, died on December 25, 2023. His life was rich with family and community and friendship and we spent the last week of the year celebrating him. If you are interested, here is my father’s official obituary and below is the eulogy I read at his funeral.


One of the first things I think of when I think of my father is the Larchmont Train Station. I’m not sure if it’s still the same today, but back in the 1990s, when I would take Metro North up from New York City to visit my parents in the suburb where I grew up, there was a system for picking up people at the station. Cars had to wait in a specific lane and space was kind of tight so that pick-up line would often snake all the way up the hill, out of the parking lot, and around the corner into town. It could sometimes get hectic. But in the ten years that I lived in the city and got off that train to visit, there was never a question which car would be first in line. The driver’s side window would be rolled down and Dad’s lanky arm would be waving to help me find him, as if I didn’t know exactly where to find him, as if he’d ever been anything other than first in line, ahead of all those suckers who only allowed themselves five minutes to make the five-minute drive to the station.

My father was the most dependable person I’ve ever known. His love language was “being there.” His dependability was so much a part of who he was that, as a kid, I didn’t think to notice it or call it anything. Whose father wasn’t staying awake all night waiting for the midnight call that would inevitably come from his daughter, still too scared to make it through the sleepover? Whose dad wasn’t sitting at his midtown office ready to drop everything in order to meet his daughter at the Oyster Bar for lunch? In 1993, when my car broke down at exit 58 on the Long Island Expressway, I didn’t call triple A or a towing service. I called my dad and waited on the side of the highway until he arrived an hour later. My dad being there for us has always been like the sun rising in the morning. It was as sure a thing as I ever knew.

When I was growing up, I could count on Dad walking in the back door every night after work just before 7:00. He never missed dinner. The moment he walked in was the moment we all started gravitating to the kitchen to start tearing off pieces of the baguette he always picked up at Chatsworth bakery on his walk home from the station. His arrival, announced by the creaky swing of the back screen door, was the signal that dinner was about to be served. At least it was until I was in fourth grade. At that point, my mom decided she wanted to go to law school, a decision that was 100% supported by my father. I’m sure there was nonstop negotiating going on behind the scenes to make sure our busy little lives still ran smoothly, but the only thing I remember was the way the two of them coordinated dinner for us on the three nights a week when Mom had to attend class. To be clear: my Dad was not a cook. His only specialities, at that point, were pasta with “butter sauce” and the drive-thru at McDonalds. But my mother somehow taught him how to make chicken cutlets. Before my dad came home from work, Mom would set up dredging stations with three plates—one for the flour, one for the egg, one for the bread crumbs. Dad started taking an earlier train to accommodate her new schedule, and as soon as he walked in, he’d take off his coat and she put hers on, then kiss each other hello and goodbye. Dad would then finish what my mom had started, moving the cutlets from plate to plate, then finally into the hot skillet. From a ten-year-old’s perspective, my parents’ do-si-do routine was seamless, and their acts of sacrifice for the family expected. But from my perspective now, I feel lucky to have had a front-row seat to such an equality-minded marriage. My father was ahead of his time in that way. He was of course a provider and a protector, and he was a beloved and respected colleague at work, but his job didn’t define him. Being there for us did. It was his lifeblood and his joy.

Dad was Find My Phone before there was Find My Phone. At any given moment, he knew where all his children were and how and when they were coming home, and could never feel at ease until he had a handle on the logistics. Before I’d go on vacation, he would check in, not to say bon voyage, but to find out what airline we were flying and what the flight number was. I am 52 years old, and it was only this past year when I stopped texting him, “landed,” after my plane touched ground. When my brother, sister, and I were teenagers and started driving places on our own, it was not unusual to find him staring out our kitchen window, standing outside our house, sometimes even standing in the middle of the street, looking in the general direction of where the car might be coming from, as though his watchful presence might manifest his childrens’ safe arrival.

He had the worst handwriting, but wrote the best toasts. He knew exactly what to say at the Thanksgiving table, at the Passover seder, for an anniversary speech celebrating the love of his life, my mother. I got married 26 years ago, and to this day guests who were at my wedding still come up to me and say they remember the speech he gave, specifically a story he told about my husband, Andy. I want to read one paragraph from it so you get a sense of how well he wrote, and so you can hear his voice and humor. I will refrain from imitating his old-school Bronx accent, but please try to picture him in his tux, beaming with happiness at the mic:

“Andy earned his stripes during one snowy night in the blizzard of 1993. Andy was still at Amherst, Jenny had graduated and was living at home. She wanted to visit him but instead of driving like usual, she was going to take the train to Springfield, where Andy was scheduled to meet her. Some five hours into this trip and after listening to a lot of alarming weather reports it became apparent to Jody and myself, who tend to be alarmists by nature, that it would be near impossible for Jenny to meet Andy. I immediately sprung into action, warming up our old car…which didn’t move too well in the snow. I was all set to once again be the rescuer. In our minds, the Springfield train station was very Dickensian and we imagined that Jenny was about to arrive to find herself in the midst of all sorts of unsavory characters. We were in a panic. Then the phone rang. It was Jenny. Two words: Andy’s here…Andy’s here.”

He went on to speak about a little piece of him feeling sad that he was not the white knight that day, but he made it clear how happy he was that I had chosen well, that I had chosen someone I could count on. I mean chosen someone he could count on.

My father had so many passions and enthusiasms and I’d like to just mention a few, with the warning that an unhealthy percentage of them fall under the dessert category. He loved Russian literature, Russian history, pretty much any book about World War II. The John Keats poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Dr. Zhivago. The movie “Judgment at Nuremberg.” Corduroy pants, cashmere sweaters, turtlenecks, and those fur-lined Cossack hats that made him look like a Russian senator. Mahler’s Ninth. The opera. Simon and Garfunkel. Judy Collins singing “Send in the Clowns.” Joe Dimaggio, Clyde Frazier. The Lou Gehrig retirement speech where Gehrig famously said “today I feel like the luckiest man on earth.” A full tank of gas. A joke at his expense. Walking into town for a cup of coffee. Emptying the dishwasher. Setting the breakfast table before he went to sleep at night. Going to the US Open every year. Summer evenings on the tennis courts with mom. A hot dog and a side of potato puffs from Walter’s. Temptee cream cheese on a plain toasted bagel, Manhattan clam chowder at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central, and those green marzipan bars from Lilac in New York. Babka (as long as it was chocolate and not cinnamon; baklava (as long as it was pistachio and not walnut), a box of Mallomars, a freshly baked challah with golden raisins. Anything from Entenmman’s but especially the discontinued Sour Cream and Chocolate Chip Nut Loaf. Dove ice cream bars, Mallomars, and halvah. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Cadbury milk and fruit bars, chocolate truffle cake, Mallomars, my mom’s chocolate pudding pie. Mallomars. Are you sensing a theme here?


My dad had the sweetest face. He had Tourette’s syndrome, which meant that this sweet face would twitch involuntarily. When I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, I was in the kitchen and overheard my mother and my sister talking about his facial tic. I don’t remember the specifics of what they said, but I remember being confused. Dad has a facial tic, I asked? They laughed at how clueless I was. I had no idea. I never saw any tic. I never saw anything but my dad’s kind eyes, his big warm smile, his handsome face. I realize that it’s not unusual for parents’ eyes to light up when they see their children, but the way he did this was still remarkable to me. In the 1990s, my sister and I both worked within seven blocks of his office on Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan. This was a dream come true for him since he could count on seeing us for lunch at least once a week. I bring this up here because I can remember walking towards whatever corner I was meeting him on, watching for the moment he’d see me coming, because his reaction was so predictable and so comforting. You could tell from his eyes how he felt such delight, such pride in me, in all of us. My brother and sister touched upon the story of how he felt like he “won the lottery” in life and it was as if every time he saw me – or any of his kids or grandkids  – he was realizing his own good fortune for the first time all over again. I still remember the day I was running out the door to visit him in Larchmont and at the last minute grabbed a few copies of my daughters’ official school photos that were on the kitchen counter. They were the wallet-size ones with the cheesy background and I grabbed them almost as an afterthought. When I handed them to him, he didn’t just look at them. He sat down, put on his reading glasses, and studied them. “Isn’t that something?” he said, shaking his head. And he was right. It was something. It is something. His love for his family was profound and real and beautiful and I feel so lucky that I had him in my life – and that my whole family will have his love in our hearts forever. Wherever he is, I know he’s looking out the window, waiting for us.

Thank you for reading.

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189 Comments

Kristin

Oh, Jenny, what a wonderful man and wonderful father! I love my father, who is also deceased, but he in no way was the dad that your father was. What a gift! And what a loss. I am so very sorry.

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Sherry

Thank you for sharing such an intimate and touching view into your father’s life. I’m sure the heartbreak is overwhelming, as I can only imagine it would be having lived your whole life with a dad like this. I join in sharing your sorrow.

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Hannah

This was incredibly beautiful to read… I have tears in my eyes and am in awe of this wonderful man who fathered you. Thank you for sharing.

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LizR

Sending so much love and care to you and your family, Jenny. What a gift to be loved by such a dad.

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Sarah

What a touching tribute. I am so sorry for your loss, and I’m sending love to your family.

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Hannah

Your father sounds like a truly wonderful man, and this eulogy is a beautiful remembrance of him. Thank you for sharing it with us. May his memory be a blessing.

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Jovita

I’m so sorry for your loss, Jenny. This is a beautiful, beautiful tribute to your dad.

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Ali

Jenny, I wish I had known this incredible guy you were blessed with as a dad. I smiled and teared up while reading this and thought throughout: “his was a life well-lived.” Sending love in this sad time

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Maureen

My heart goes out to you and your family. There’s no doubt reading your words that your Dad was remarkable and what memories you’ll have forever in your heart.

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Rebecca Enslein

Thank you for sharing your father with us. It was a delight to learn about him and discover that you were raised by such a kind, caring, and exceptional human. May his memory be a blessing and continue to bring you joy.

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marc bergeron, CWE

This is indeed a beautiful and heartfelt eulogy… he sounds like an exemplar of a true gentleman. Thank you for sharing.

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Ellen

Jenny, thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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Mary

ah, I’m crying at my desk! thank you for sharing and be so gentle with yourself in the coming days.

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Stephanie Bolton

Oh Jenny. I find myself sitting here crying and all choked up. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the obituary, as well as your eulogy. Both are incredibly beautiful and very inspiring. I will keep you in my thoughts and I plan to make the sour cream and chocolate chip nut loaf in his honor.

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sally

This is so beautifully written and captures an extraordinary human being. I’m so moved by how well you knew and loved your father. Tearing up over here!

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Maria

Gosh, what a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your father. He sounds like such a wonderful and special person. I am so sorry for your loss.

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Whitney

This is a beautiful tribute. What a remarkable life well lived. May his memory be a blessing. Sending love.

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Jennifer C.

Eulogy: to praise someone highly
What a beautiful way to honor your amazing dad!
I’m sorry for your loss and all the other people that I’m sure are grieving his passing.

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Laura

I am tearful reading your beautiful tribute. What an incredible father, and what an incredible daughter.
Sending you love.

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Kris

Jenny, I am so sorry for your loss and incredibly moved by this tribute. But more than anything else, I want you to know how inspired I feel! Your Dad is the parent I strive to be! If after I am gone, any of my kids say “Her love language was ‘being there,'” I will be at peace forever. Thank you for sharing all of this.

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Kristin

So very sorry for your loss. I lost my mother last year, and I know how much it hurts to lose our beloved parents. But we were so lucky to have had these beautiful, loving people in our lives for so long — and they are with us always, maybe even more after death than before. May you find peace and comfort.

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Daniela

Beautiful words, Jenny. I lost my dad in 2014 and I didn’t feel I could eulogize him, for a number of reasons. This brought pangs to my heart, some because I envy you for having such a dependable and loving and PRESENT dad, and some because I wish I could have found the strength to say some good things about my dad. In any case, I feel like this kind of eulogy is something you must earn. You have to work for it. You put yourself out there and be vulnerable and share your love with your dear ones. Your dad was clearly special, and I’m sure he is feeling pretty glad that you were able to see him in just this way. xo

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Lori

Thank you for sharing your wonderful Dad with us! I feel inspired to continue to be his kind of parent to my kids.

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Heidi

I’m so sorry for this painful loss, Jenny. Thank you for sharing these beautiful things about your father. I’ve loved learning about him through your writing and cookbook “stories,” and was always impressed by the person he seemed to be. Losing a parent is like losing part of yourself. When I lost my mother a few years ago, it felt as through the whole cosmos changed course around me and that even my DNA was changed. Whatever it may feel like to you, let this first year be what it is and give yourself space and grace for all the weird ways grief tends to show up. May his memory be a blessing.

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Michaela

Whew, I am not much of a crier but I am sitting here smiling and teary at your stories of this beautiful man. What a gift–thank you for sharing him with us.

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Kate

Jenny, That was a beautiful and touching tribute to your father. I think writing a eulogy for a parent must be one of the toughest things to do in the world, but you did such a lovely job. It brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss.

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Alicia Bartz

Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. It reminds me of my own dependable dad, who we lost almost 8 years ago. Dependable is the most underrated big love. I’m sorry for your loss.

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Karen

Such a beautiful tribute, Jenny. I’m very sorry for your loss. What an inspiration to you and your family – he sounds like a truly remarkable man who will be missed by all. And I’m with him on the Mallomars – nothing better. Sending love to you and your family.

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Betsy W.

What a wonderful tribute to a man who was, obviously, a wonderful father. Thank you for sharing this with all of us and may his memory be a blessing to you and your whole family.

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Jessica

Jenny, thank you for sharing your dad with us. Sending love to you and your entire family. My mom also loves mallomars (she stocks up before they go out of season). May his memory be a blessing.

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Josh Hamermesh

Hi Jenny,

My sincere condolences on the loss of your father. I remember that epic speech he gave at your wedding! The man had a way with words and knew how to tell a good story. Your eulogy was a beautiful way to honor him. Many of the things you wrote about Ivan remind me of my father.

I hope you are able to have a healthy mourning process and continue to honor your dad’s memory.

Thinking of you.

Josh Hamermesh

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Ellen

Oh Jenny. I’m crying right now at this beautiful tribute of a wonderful man, husband, and father. May his memory be a blessing to you, your family, and all who knew him.

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Lynn

Jenny, what an incredibly beautiful tribute and what a great legacy he leaves. Praying for your family as you navigate the world without him.

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Evan

Thanks for sharing this, Jenny. Even though I never met your dad, your words conveyed a deep warmth. So, in that sense, I feel like I got to know him a little bit.

When my parents pass on, I hope to write something just as meaningful.

Thanks again for sharing. Thinking of you all!

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Laura

Oh, Jenny, I am so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing to you and your family. What a beautiful tribute! You captured him so fully and gave us a glimpse at what a great person he was.

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Noellen

I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute was beautiful. Sending you and your family love.

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Catherine

What beautiful tributes to your wonderful father.
My sincere condolences to you and your entire family.

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Leslie

What an extraordinary man with a delightful family. I am so sorry for your loss but grateful to have the opportunity to hear these memories. Your words left me crying and smiling at the same time.

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Maureen

What a wonderful eulogy and remembrance of your sweet father. Lucky indeed, all of you to have someone like that. Thank you for sharing this with us. As I write this, my 27 year old is driving back to Boulder with his dog from Chicago and the holidays, and I am of course checking in with him to see how he is doing!! It never stops…

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Sarah Dawson

Oh Jenny, losing our beloved papa’s is so very hard. In those first grief-stricken weeks when I was mourning my dad’s death in 2018, a friend told me that losing a beloved father is one of of the hardest things we must endure in this life and I found an odd comfort in that. I had lost him, in the earthly sense, but I was still breathing in and out. One of the last gifts he gave me was resilience. I am sure your father has passed the same onto you. Still, doesn’t make it any easier. Sending you so much love and compassion as you walk this walk. I hope, like I was, you are able to find the beauty in this acute mourning. Holding your heart close to mine. xo

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Tina

My condolences Jenny! What beautiful words about your father! I love that you had such an amazing Dad!

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brenda gaughan

oh man i’m in tears. what a lovely tribute to your father. i feel like i knew him after reading your beautiful eulogy. what an inspiration he was! i’m so sorry for you and your whole family, but, i’m reminded of my favorite saying for sympathy cards – it’s adapted from ‘winnie the poo’: how lucky am i to love someone who makes saying goodbye so hard? blessings to you and yours.

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Amy

Thank you so much for sharing this tribute. He sounds like an amazing person and my heart aches for your loss.

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Elizabeth

Jenny I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. Before I even started reading I thought of your Dad’s sweet tooth from reading the stories in your cookbooks. This was a beautiful tribute to him.

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THERESA JOHNSON

Crying! What a beautiful testament to being consistent and fully present in your lives.

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Kristin

What a beautiful tribute, and I’m so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing with us.

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Jean Dinneen

I am sorry for your loss, Jenny, and that of your family, too. Although I never met your father, your eulogy made me feel as though I did. As A 76 year old woman, I especially appreciated his love of family. It is the best gift you can pass on, an overabundance of love! May your wonderful memories comfort and sustain you. Peace.

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Stephanie

Oh Jenny – May his memory be a blessing. What a gift this story is to all of us! Thinking of you. XO

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Julie

Jenny, I am so sorry for you loss. You represent him well and you obviously loved each other very much

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Ruth

Sending love and light during this difficult time. What a gift, your father was. May his memory be your comfort.

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Robin Parke

Wow. How blessed you are to have had this man as your father. I’m sure that your wonderful memories will sustain you in the days ahead. Also a few malomars. Sending love.

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Noel Foley

Oh Jenny. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing and send my deepest condolences to you and your family.

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Jackie

This was extraordinary, what a gift for us to read and for you to love. Thanks for sharing, so sorry for your loss.

Ps I’m remembering some long ago post where your Dad wrote the girls stories of themselves to read, am I recalling that correctly? That story alone told me what kind of man he was, a life well well lived.

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Stacey

What a beautiful tribute. May his memory be a blessing to you and your family. I, too, have a father who went to Taft HS in the Bronx in that era. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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Tealie

Thank you for sharing this, and I’m so sorry for your loss. This brought tears to my eyes – my dad died in 2020 and he was also as dependable as the day is long and my go-to for any situation. I also felt adored by him and have missed that tremendously – no one in my life will ever love me like my dad did. His illness was so hard and made it easy to forget those things about him – thank you for the reminder today.

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Fredda

What a beautiful tribute you’ve written and shared with us. I am so sorry for your loss, may his memory be a blessing to you all.

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bb

What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your memories of your father. What a joy to learn more about him today and to witness a profound and pure example of the love shared between a daughter and father. Sending you and your entire family warmth and peace.

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Ali

My condolences to you and your family, Jenny. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories with us. May your father’s love continue to live on through his beloveds.

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Sherrie

My sincere condolences to you and your family. But thank you for sharing your memories of such a remarkable man. How lucky you were to have him in your life.

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Melissa

Jenny, what a beautiful tribute to your sweet, adoring father. I love the toast he gave at your wedding. I am so sorry for this tremendous loss but the love he put out in the world will surely live on in everyone he touched, especially you and your family. Thank you for sharing this eulogy and obituary. I really got a sense of what a special soul he was. Sending you lots of love and peace.

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Jeni

Jenny, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your incredible father and will be thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Thank you as always for sharing your writing gift and also for such beautiful inspiration from your dad on how to deeply love.❤️

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Abby

This was so beautiful, I feel lucky to have read it. Thank you for sharing. Holding you and your family in my heart.

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Raquel

Being seen, the most wonderful gift a parent can give to their children. The wonderful thing here is that you also saw him, so fully. May the good memories keep your hearts joyful.

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Elizabeth

Just beautiful. I loved reading about your dad and am very sorry for your loss, Jenny.

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Jennifer Lehner

What a beautiful tribute to your dad. He sounds like an amazing man and I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am about his passing last week.

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Melissa

What a beautiful ode to your dad. Sending you my sincere condolences on your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

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Kath

A beautiful tribute to a man I never knew. My heart breaks for you and am so sorry for your loss.

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E E Deere

Dear Jenny, Oh what a kind and generous heart you have for sharing this vivid and wonderful remembrance of your dad.
I am so very sorry for your loss, and so glad for the person that your father was.

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Leslie B.

How wonderful to have these beautiful memories to comfort you. I’m sorry for your loss, Jenny. It sounds like you were all well launched. You know he’s still “right there.” He did a good job of parenting, and you did a good job of becoming an adult. Lucky family.

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Stacey

Extraordinary! His life, your dad, your eulogy, all extraordinarily beautiful. Thank you for sharing. May his memory be a blessing.

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Alexa

This is really beautiful Jenny. May these memories, and all your memories of your father, be a gift.

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Nancy Silver

How lucky you and your family are to have been raised by such a warm and loving man. I love all the food references and surely you will continue to share his favorite foods and honor your dad in every way with stories and such wonderful memories.

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Mary

What a gorgeous tribute to a wonderful man. I feel as if I met him reading your eulogy. It is clear that you know the gift that he was and is to you all. May his memory be for a blessing.

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Niki

This is beyond beautiful. Thank you for sharing. My deepest condolences to you and your family. May we all have such a profound impact on those around us.

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Rebecca

What a lovely piece–and, clearly, a lovely man. May his memory be a blessing, as it clearly is.

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Leah

This is so beautiful. I’m so, so sorry for the loss of your father, Jenny — he sounds like a wonderful man.
And I totally agree with his taste in babka (chocolate) and baklava (pistachio.) May his memory be a blessing.

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Janet Keating

I’m very sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute that makes me wish I could have met your father. It sounds like he was an amazing person. Thank you for sharing a bit of him with all of us. May he rest in peace.

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Margaret

What a beautiful tribute.; you brought tears my eyes. Thank you for sharing your love for him — and his for you — with all of us.

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Kim

Jenny, my deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father. Your eulogy brought me to tears- what a moving tribute to a wonderful man. I know your loss is tremendous, but may his memory be a blessing.

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Miranda

I love this person, a man I have never met. Please tell me that they still make them like this.

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Rebecca

A beautiful eulogy of a wonderful human being. My deepest condolences. Thank you for sharing ❤️

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Polly

Beautiful tribute. I’m not crying…. He sounds like such a wonderful person and such a great dad/grandad/husband/friend. So many memories to fill your hearts.

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stefanie

Dear Jenny,

A beautiful and touching tribute. What a lovely man and father! Thank you for sharing.
My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

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Ryal

What warm memories, described with such love and humor. Blessings to you and your family.

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Tiffany Parker

This post was so touching. I am so sorry about the loss of your father. But what an incredible tribute – I do feel as if I know him from reading your eulogy. I am crying reading this. He sounds like an incredible human, and an extraordinary father. Sending love to you and your family.

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Laura

Beautiful. Life is so hard and sad sometimes. Thank you for sharing. May we all love like he did. Be gentle with yourself.

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Susan DeCamp

Such a beautiful and touching remembrance. Made me cry, but the happiest kind of tears. My mom also had a sweet tooth. She loved peanut buster parfaits, dove bars and Bun candy bars. There’s something so endearing about
people who love sweets. So happy that you had him. Sounds like your whole family won the lottery.

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Tracy

Jenny, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so happy for your memories. May I suggest you go have a cup of coffee and a mallomar?

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Sasha

I am so sorry for your loss, Jenny. Big virtual hug to you and Andy. I was just reading/bookmarking How to Celebrate Everything over the holidays, and the love you have for your father comes through loud and clear in that book.

A longtime reader.

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Kate

What a beautiful tribute. Your words make me wish that I had known your father. May his memory be a blessing.

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Rebecca

This was so beautiful. Thank you for letting us share of but of his life through your words. May his memory be a blessing.

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Amy Enns-Ford

Jenny that was beautifully written. I feel I know your father now and I am sitting here crying for your loss. You were so truly lucky in fathers and what is more wonderful is how well you know that.

XO, Amy

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Veronica Pearcey Schmitt

Dear Jenny, thank you for sharing him here with us. This was so lovely I feel almost like I have lost an old friend! Sending you and your family and friends so much love.

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Sara Kidd

Such a beautiful tribute and I am thankful that you shared! How fortunate you and your siblings were to have had such a wonderful family life with memories to warm your hearts forever!

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Kerry-Ann Warren

Jenny, I am so sorry for your loss. Your eulogy was beautiful. What a loving tribute to your Dad, he sounds like he was a wonderful man. Thinking of you and your family.

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C

I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a parent leaves a big hole and I hope you are surrounded by family and people who loved your father right now. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of yourself with so many strangers on the internet, and such a touching tribute. People like your father renew my faith in the basic everyday goodness of humanity.

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Ella

While, of course, I never knew your father, I sobbed and smiled my way through this as if I had. And I wish I had. It’s no wonder you are such a marvellous human, who has raised such marvellous humans, given the parents who raised you. Thank you for sharing this special man with us. I will think of him whenever I eat one of his favourite treats.

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Phyllis Bregman

I’m so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was the best husband, father and grandfather. Cherish your memories. Peace and love to you and your family.

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Maggie Iribarne

Jenny, Thanks for sharing all of this about your wonderful Dad. Ever since I read it last night I’ve been thinking about how these extraordinary people walk the Earth, ad what a gift it is to know them and love them. In a world where so much seems so bad, it lifts my spirits to know there are people like your dad living and loving with such passion and splendor. There really are super heroes! Your dad was one of them.

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Laura

Jenny, I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this, what a beautiful telling of love and respect.

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Christina

This moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing about your wonderful father. Sending you and your family love and blessings.

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Ariana Alfonso

Jenny, this eulogy was so profound and moving. I’m so thankful you shared for many reasons. A life so clearly well-lived. These goodbyes are beyond heartbreaking, but even amidst loss a life such as this deserves a celebration. You really know how to celebrate everything! All my love and prayers to your family as you navigate the loss.

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Karen

There is never a good day to lose your father but hopefully having the grandchildren home from college helped a little bit. To be loved and cared for so much is a gift that you’ll keep with you. My children were young when they lost their grandmother so we celebrate Entenmannfest on her birthday every year. She always had 2-3 choices on her fridge and the kids get a reminder about how much she loved feeding all of us. Pound cake is our jam but I had no idea there were discontinued kinds! Take care.

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Melissa

A delightful read, even ffor someone who never met Ivan.
Jenny made all the love she has for him and he for her FELT by the reader. What a heartwarming tribute!

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Lilly

Thank you for sharing your dad’s story and love with us. Peace to you and all who knew and loved him. What a gift.

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Kim

Goodness, what a beautiful tribute to a man who sounds extraordinary in the way he loved you. Thank you for sharing this, for crafting words so beautifully, for making me cry, for inviting us into your loss and grief and gratitude, all of it. So much love to you and yours.

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Ro

Beautiful tribute for a beautifully lived life. Your dad sounds like a gem. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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Joanne Granchelli

This is such a loving tribute to a man I knew professionally. I also live and work in Larchmont and have admired your parents dedication to each other.
You words encapture the essence of a man well loved and respected. Thank you for sharing these intimate moments.

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Diane Southworth

Jenny, Thank you for sharing this. I’m so glad that your father had such a long and happy life and I am so very sorry for the loss for you and your family. Diane

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Jan A. “Jac” Coleman

Jenny—What a wonderful dad and what a beautifully written tribute. Sending peace to you and your family. May your father’s memory be for a blessing. -jac

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Jan C. “Jac” Coleman

Jenny—What a wonderful dad and what a beautifully written tribute. Sending healing and peace to your family. May your father’s memory be for a blessing. -jac

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Allison

What beautiful love and beautifully captured! Thank you for sharing his memory. I will think of him (and you) when I see Mallomars now and say a prayer of gratitude for the love he brought to this world. Sending you prayers for peace and comfort when you need it most.

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Erin

What an inspiring man and a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing with us. I wish you and your family peace as you grieve.

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Virginia

What a beautiful tribute. He sounds like an amazing man and father. Thank you for sharing a piece of this lovely man with us. So sorry for your loss. .

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Amy

Jenny, what a beautiful tribute to your father. And what a gift to have his love all those years. My deepest condolences to you, your family and your mother.

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Isabel Ahmann

Sending my heartfelt and deepest sympathies, Jenny. Your dad was indeed a remarkable man by every measure. Thank you for sharing.

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Natalie

What a wonderful tribute! I just loved reading about your Dad. What a gift he was to you and you family. My condolences.

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valerie

This is just absolutely beautiful, Jenny. I love my dad the way you obviously love yours – what a treasure that is! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful tribute. I don’t know you and I didn’t know him, but my eyes teared up reading your sweet words.

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Jess.

Such beautiful words about such a beautiful soul. One of my friends told me the other day, “You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to show up.” I hope my sons are the kind of father your dad was, with the showing up AND with the caring. I’m going to have them read this. xox

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Amanda

A beautiful, beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing. Blessings and peace to your family.

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Kate Hopper

Dear Jenny, I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to lose an incredible dad. What a beautiful tribute to a clearly fabulous person. I know you’ll feel this loss for a long time, but I know, too, that it is such a special thing to have loved a dad as much as you and your siblings clearly loved your dad. That is something to celebrate. I’m sending you all so much love as you grieve. Perhaps this piece I wrote in the days after my dad died will offer comfort? https://brevitymag.com/nonfiction/defiant/ (I’m guessing your dad had congestive heart failure, as well, or some other heart condition that limited his salt intake. My dad hated that!)

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Emily

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. As my own dad spends more and more time in his post-stroke body (which he is very disappointed with), I appreciate how you tap into memories of your dad throughout your life with him.

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Lora

What a beautiful tribute to your father. I’m so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

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Lacey Williams

We made the sour cream and chocolate chip loaf last night in honor of your father. Love this inspiring tribute to him.

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Traci Brown

What a wonderful man your father was, and what a love he has left for you for all eternity. I am so sorry for your loss.

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molly

Sending so much love & big, giant hugs, Jenny. SUCH a beautiful, moving, INCREDIBLE eulogy. xoxo

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Jacque

I miss him and I’ve never met him. So sorry for your loss; what an incredible person.

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Stacy

I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful eulogy. What beautiful words, I had a hard time reading it thru so many tears. Like me, I’m sure so many of your readers are in this same season of life. And I have these same feelings about my parents. Your beautiful eulogy about your wonderful dad deserves to heard near and far. You should send it to Kelly Corrigan’s ‘Thanks for Being Here’

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Elizabeth Nelson

A very loving eulogy; I feel like I know your father well. I don’t know him, of course, but I’ own your books and have followed you online, and I know this: he raised a wonderful person. May his memory be a blessing.

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Sara Mazenko

Dear Mrs. Rosenstrach, my sincere condolences on the passing of your Ivan. Thanks to your daughter I’ve gotten to know your family a tiny bit through her books and can feel how seismic a loss this is. I’m so sorry. What an exceptional man you chose as a partner. Knowing how we mirror each other, I gather that you are just as exceptional. I will pray that you find comfort and joy in whatever way you can especially in this year of firsts.

Dear Jenny, I’m so sorry to welcome you into this club. It is the worst, but the company isn’t so bad. I am inspired, encouraged and elated to know that there are dads out there like yours and kids who are eloquent enough to so honorably celebrate them through words. What a beautiful obituary and eulogy. New life goal: be more like Ivan. Thanks for sharing him with us. I truly hope that the saying, a shared sorrow is half the sorrow, applies here.

Warmly,
Sara

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Marianne

I am in tears for your loss – it is monumental. Your memories serve him well – as a total stranger who happened upon your website searching for a recipe,, I am in awe of the man he was! I am sure he is with the Lord!. My parents both died very young – and forever, I thought Heaven was a far off place. I think differently now; I believe our loved ones who have passed are right beside us.

I pray for your peace, and for the sustenance of your faith and family. Its survival and growth will be his legacy.

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Carren J Stika

Oh my goodness. What a incredible man. What a smile! What a life! And what a beautiful and loving tribute. Of course I never knew him — and I only “know” you from reading your book and your blog. But being able to read your memories of your father has been such a gift. Thank you for sharing your father with us. Thank you for sharing YOU with us. You enrich my life and your followers, as did your dad enrich so many other people’s lives. My most sincere condolences to you and your family, and of course your mother. I am so, so sorry. But what a gift to have had such an incredible father! May your memories of your dad bring you comfort and may his love continue to guide your life and those he has “touched” with his love.

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Sherry

Jenny – a beautiful tribute for a remarkable man. Thank you for sharing your father’s memory with us. What a guy! My mom died last year (cancer, 66). It was startling and comforting when I realized that our parents will always be with us. In our faces, in our hearts. Much love to you all, especially your mother.

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Stephanie

I’m so sorry for your loss, and I wanted to say that your dad’s spirit comes across so well in what you wrote. What a legacy. May his memory be a blessing.

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Alice

I am sobbing. I felt every one of the words you wrote in my bones, in my throat, in my heart. This is my dad. Not outwardly my dad (my dad immigrated from Korea to Canada in the early 1970s) but my dad in the most important ways. The light in his eyes every time we meet, the way he studies his grandkids’ photos, the readiness to come and save the day at a moment’s notice.
I’m lucky to still have my dad here but this past Christmas I felt a pang of worry when I noticed how his health issues are taking a toll, how he seemed relieved to let me know of his struggles. I don’t really do new year’s resolutions but this year I promised myself that I would make more time to spend with him.
Thank you so much for sharing this. It is a beautifully written, heartfelt tribute to your dad.

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Erin

My condolences……what an amazing read. I had just pulled out your cookbook, “how to celebrate everything” and now reading this…..Thank you for sharing with your readers.

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Cameron

Thinking of you Jenny and so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to a wonderful father.

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Dana

Dear Jenny: What a beautiful man! What a beautiful tribute! The details with which you paint this portrait of him says so much about how fully you saw him and appreciated him both as your beloved Dad and as a person. Wow, I’m so touched. Sending you love and blessings.

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Caitlin O

Dear Jenny,
I am so very sorry to read your news and sending condolences to you and your family. Your beautiful post was a wonderful way to stop and think about how to be as both a parent and a child in the world. May the grieving process bring you closer to the ones you love.

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Deirdre

Jenny, I’ve been sharing this widely, especially with my three sons. I too had a father who delighted in his family more than anything, and I know what a rare gift and terrible loss that is. Thank you for sharing this glimpse of your father with us. I hope you’ll share your eulogy with Kelly Corrigan’s Thanks for Being Here podcast. Our society so often makes money and power seem like the “dream” of life, but your father had it figured out: a loving marriage, showing up, and delighting in the world. That’s the real dream.

I can’t help thinking of my own dad while reading it. An Irish immigrant from a family of 14 who left school at 15, he was the most well-read man I’ve ever met (and I’ve worked at universities throughout my career). Like your dad, he felt he had won the lottery in life—even though someone else could paint it as a very hard life full of loss. He loved his job, loved work but loved his family even more and honestly, was in love with life. He delighted in learning and, as a kid who had often been hungry, food was clearly his love language. During a hospital visit near the end, when he was miserable on a no-salt diet of hospital food, I snuck him a slice of his favorite pizza. At the time, I was sheepish about admitting this to my siblings but in retrospect, I’m so grateful I did. It brought him so much joy! He was 81—maybe he should have been allowed ice cream at the end rather than jello.

I’m sending much love to you, your kids, siblings and especially your mom. For a long time, it felt like all the colors of the world became muted and being on this planet without my dad made everything dimmer. But his legacy is one of love and delight, and so I try to pay attention and notice all the things he would so have delighted in: my brother’s newborn, ice cream on a hot day, open-face tomato sandwiches with salt in July. And slowly, the world is regaining color.

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Anita

What a beautiful life he led and what a beautiful family he imagined, loved, guided and supported. I am so sorry for your loss. His memory is a blessing…to all of us. Seems like you and Andy are following a similar path. Thank you for sharing with us.

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Priya

I am in tears after reading this, it is so achingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Your father seems like such an incredible being, a true gift. Incredible that his light shines through all of you now.

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Katie

Oh Jenny, I’m so sorry for you loss. I loved your long list of things that your father loved. It seems that he had such a full and engaged life. My father died in August of 2021. He was forced to retire in 2017 and unhappily became sicker and just more disappointed in everything. It was only some time after his death when I started to miss who he had been to me. So now I often think or say out loud – oh, my father would have loved this. That would have amazed him
Or made him laugh. Your words for him are beautiful.

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Lesley

I am so very sorry for your and your family’s loss. I have really loved the stories you’ve shared about your father over the years both online and in your books. It’s clear he was an amazing person who truly loved and was loved by many. Thank you for giving us readers a chance to get to know him a bit, too. Sending you sincere condolences and the hope that you find comfort and solace during this time

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Jen Horowitz

Hi Jenny, I doubt you remember me, but I was Lynn’s friend from Chatsworth, and I wanted to say that I remember your dad so fondly. I was a kid with lots of fears, but I always felt happy and welcome at your house. Your dad was everything you wrote/spoke about in your eulogy and newsletter. I hope you have tremendous comfort from all the wonderful memories.
Jen Horowitz (but your family may remember me as Jenny Gotlin!)

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lauren

Your love for him is so palpable here, Jenny, and I am so sorry for your loss. My family is holding your family in our hearts.

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Julie

I so remember waiting for my dad to get off Metro North – he was a sparkling captain in a sea of Willy Lomans. What a gift a great father is. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad 12 years ago (how is that possible) and I know this pain. Much love to you.

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paula

It’s been a few weeks since he passed but I had to leave a note. I was tearing up the whole time , thinking of how familiar it sounds . As if you knew my father. Then I was thinking , maybe all loving fathers have the same features. Mine passed away in 2014 at age 57. I was 19 and I can tell you that to this day I still find myself grieving in many ways. I could go for many months without really thinking of him then one day it all resurfaces as if he just died. Grief is weird and chaotic and stubborn.
Your dad was a loving father that truly cared about his children , just like mine. Someone told me once that only great men leave a huge hole in one’s heart. That is a blessing.
Please take care of yourself
xx

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mox

Thank you for sharing this beautiful essay.
(And of course, thank you for your wonderful blog.)
I am so sorry for your family’s loss.
May we all be mindful of all the ways we’ve won the lottery.
Thank you, thank you.

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Anon

Jenny,
I am so sorry for your loss. This piece is such a beautiful tribute to your father, his life and love for his family. I sat reading this in tears, as every word hit home for me, echoing my experiences with my dad, whose love language is also being there. I hope that when this sad day arrives for me, I am able to so beautifully put into words what my father means to me. I hope you and your family are finding comfort in each other and all the wonderful memories and love you share.

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Katie

This was really, lovely. Thank you for sharing so many details about someone who sounds like a wonderful man. I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

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N Rogers

My condolences Jenny. What a beautiful tribute to your father. Makes me wish I had known him.

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Erin

Wow! What a life fully lived!
Thank you for sharing this with us.

May his memory be a blessing.

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Monique R.

Such a lovely tribute to your father, who sounds like such a lovely person. As deep as I’m sure you all feel the loss of his physical presence, I’m sure you all feel even deeper joy for having had such a father. My condolences and warmest thoughts to you and yours. And thank you for all that you do! Your work helps me to feel supported.

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Deirdre Nargi

This is just beautiful. May he rest in peace. His love for you lives on forever.
You were so blessed to have such a wonderful father

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Stacy Jurado Miller

This is as beautiful a eulogy as I’ve ever read. Obviously your Dad’s gift for speech writing lives on in you. Any one of us would be lucky to be known this well, and adored so clearly, by our children. Deepest sympathy to your family as you move through this loss.

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