>In memory of Robert M. Haft
  • Bob Haft with puppy

In memory of Robert M. Haft

My dad passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Exeter, NH on Wednesday, November 1 at the age of 87. Here’s the eulogy that my sister Melissa, niece Margaux, and I wrote.

TIM
C.S. Lewis wrote, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” I think our dad would have said it more eloquently. To him, age truly was just a number.

Our Dad loved life. He lived every day with gusto. He taught us to love what you do and do what you love. To be fair and balanced, there were times when he said in his best South Park voice: “Timmay, that (fill in the blank job) isn’t going to lead anywhere,” but in the end he was always supportive and caring and never told me what to do with my life.

Dad was passionate, compassionate, downright funny, and brilliant. His birthday cards were sheer poetry, complete with the most clever rhyming couplets. And when I turned 40 in Y2K he made me a CD with 24 songs that essentially told the story of my life. I mean how many fathers do that for their kids?

But Dad kept his eye on the ball. And the ball was his family and friends.

Born to adoring parents, Minette and Sam, he and his elder brother Norman resided in New York City where they attended the Birch Wathen School. At age 17, he found Lehigh University and Lehigh University found him and they have never parted ways. His devotion to Lehigh, and every sporting team you can imagine, never wavered. In fact, Bob attended more than 60 Lehigh-Lafayette games earning him elite status in Lehigh’s 50-game club. And in two weeks, dad, my girlfriend Heather, and I were going to attend one more. By the way, Lehigh’s school colors are brown and white. Winston is brown and white. Coincidence? I think not.

MELISSA
And then enter dear Vicki…

Married on the 4th of July in 1954, the true spectacular show began. And with this ___, my brother Tim and I became the luckiest children in the world. And my children Brent and Margaux became the luckiest grandkids. My Dad was so cool, so forward thinking. Always music playing, books read, delicious meals served.

Even last week at 9:30pm he phoned me, one of our many daily phone calls, to tell me how delicious his fresh clam sauce with linguine was. I have the recipe for you by the way.

He had the most unique cars. The kind no one has ever heard of. As kids, we would attract a crowd on New York’s 2nd Avenue when Dad started up his Citroen station wagon with a hydraulic lift. He taught me to drive at 15. He also introduced me to Sweet Manhattans.

But I digress, back to the music—always playing—theater music, Sinatra, Beatles, Belafonte, Simon and Garfunkel. Dad even told me to listen to Bruce Springsteen in the early 70’s before Bruce was the Boss.

After retiring to the Seacoast, Mom and Dad supported the arts, attending countless concerts at the Music Hall and the Seacoast Rep while supporting local musicians far and wide.

In recent years Dad joined the chorus at RiverWoods and this too became a passion, putting 120% into each performance. In spite of his imminent move to Bethlehem, PA (back to Lehigh), Tim and I could not get him to budge until after the RiverWoods holiday concert scheduled for later this month. That insistence of finishing what he started exemplifies the type of person our dad was. He was loyal as loyal could be to the very end.

He has instilled his love of music in all of us. It has permeated our souls.

Bob, Popsy, lived with a deep sense of integrity and intention. When my kids Brent and Margaux joined the fray, again he was passionate about their lives. He followed their sports, careers, studies, and philanthropic endeavors. Okay, Lehigh teams may have come first.

Just last month Pops officiated at Brent and Rebecca’s wedding in NJ. In true Popsy fashion, he combined eastern and western cultures in such a loving way. And he was hilarious concluding the proceeding with the following line: “by the authority vested in me by absolutely no one, I now pronounce you man and wife.”

Dad, we love you like the stars—you are a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in our hearts. But together again, you and Mom will light up our heavenly skies forever and always. May you rest in peace.

MARGAUX
This past summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime and the greatest privilege to spend almost 2 weeks in Europe with my dear grandfather, Popsi, or “Benny,” as I sometimes affectionately teased him. (Which of course he responded right back with his silly nickname for me, “Musky”).

Many of you may have heard the elaborate, extensive, and thoroughly exhausting travel plans (probably more than once knowing Popsi). From Amsterdam to Hungary and then to Serbia and Croatia and Bulgaria and Romania, the trip would have been ambitious for anyone. But despite his leg and back pains, Popsi at 87 years old, didn’t miss a beat (or a tour for that matter). The people on our river cruise boat often commented that Popsi was so lucky to have his granddaughter to look out for him. But I would tell them, “No, I am truly the lucky one.”

And, for my older brother Brent and I, we ARE really the lucky ones.

Throughout our entire lives, Popsi was always there for us, and he was always ready to be our third playmate. One of our favorite memories is of Popsi’s willingness and competitive joy in taking us on in epic wrestling matches on the couch (almost always letting us team up against him). He was always ready to play, and he played the game of life so well. Popsi, you will always be our inspiration.

And just as Popsi was always there for us, we will always be there for him.

As many of you know, Winston, Popsi’s newest sidekick pup, partner in crime, and the renowned mascot of RiverWoods, was the light of his life these past few months. Popsi and I had decided together, that if anything ever happened, I would be the one to take care of this piece of his heart. I know I can never fill Popsi’s role as Winston’s father, but I promise you all, and I promise you Popsi, that he will always be loved and taken care of, just as you always loved and took care of me.

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine
Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine
Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

ll up in my house, I’m gonna let it shine
All up in my house, I’m gonna let it shine
All up in my house, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

By | 2018-02-13T17:47:03+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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