- 102 years old
- Date of birth: Nov 30, 1911
- Place of birth:
New York, New York, United States
- Date of passing: Jul 30, 2014
- Place of passing:
Lakeland, Florida, United States
|Let the memory of Daniel be a blessing|
This memorial website was created in memory of Grandpa/Uncle Dan/Great Uncle Dan/Daddy. We had him for 102 amazing years....a wonderfully long time but not nearly long enough. We celebrate his life here.
Everyone here already knows my grandpa was a strong, sweet, devoted and successful man . Those 4 words probably have many meanings to some of you when it comes to Danny Eisenberg. Maybe its all the lawyers that I work with but I’d like to personally substantiate them with a few facts.
My grandpa was a strong patriarch. He was born in Manhattan in 1911 and grew up on 123rd and second ave. with his parents, brother and 4 sisters. He worked on Madison ave at tracers company of America a private investigation agency for 40 years.
He lived through 2 world wars and saw the twin towers fall.
He played golf every day and was an avid bowler.
He buried a daughter and two grandchildren before I was even born.
When my dad passed away my grandpa at 97 years old tried to get on a greyhound bus to get to my moms four hours away. We talked him out of that.
He lived on his own until he was 99. Last summer we all went on a week long cruise. Grandpa was the oldest person on the boat at 101. When my mom brought him to get a passport the woman at the passport agency didn't believe his birth certificate was real because it was so old. My mom said well he’s really old.
He could get up from a chair so quickly he sometimes could walk faster than me. When he was 95 we surprised him in Florida with the kids. When he saw us at the door he came out laughing and got down on the floor to be at jakes level. We thought he wouldn't get back up but of course he bounced up like he was 30.
Grandpa loved to keep up on politics. He was particularly interested in the last presidential election. He would call me often to discuss what was happening and to make sure my friends and I were all voting for Obama. He was very progressive for an old Jewish guy. He said Romney didn't care about women.
He called me the morning after the election and he was hysterically laughing. He said they must have the mops out at Fox News because they were wiping up all of the tears.
He came up to NY for his 100th birthday and wanted to drive by his old neighborhoods. My sister Michelle and I were concerned he wouldn't remember where he was going because he couldn't see so well. We asked him to give us the addresses so we could use our gps to map it. He was so stubborn, he said I don't need a map. I'll tell you where to go and where to make a right and where to make a left. We never should have doubted him. We got in the car and he remembered exactly where to go. It was a great day. I used my iphone to video him at each stop. We drove by his old elementary school, the apartment he grew up in and then we went by the building where he worked for 40 years on Madison Ave.
My grandpa was especially sweet. He loved chocolate, and loved to give us candy and ice cream when we were kids. We were always super psyched to go down to visit him because he let us order waffles and ice cream and call it dinner.
He loved to give us kisses. I remember grandpa always grabbing my face and giving me a million kisses and I would try to get away because his face was so scratchy.
He was everyone's grandpa, my next door neighbors called him pampa. He always made people feel comfortable and put a smile on everyone’s face.
We delayed the service until today because so many of you didn’t want to miss it. He would be beside himself today to see how many people are here for him.
My grandpa was a devoted husband, father and friend. When I was 16 my widowed grandpa started dating. He met ruthie while he was working at her community as a security guard. I was spending a couple of weeks with him that summer and I remember my mom having to sit me down and ask if it would be ok for ruthie to sleepover while I was there. My grandpa was living in sin at 79 years old.
At first it was a little strange to be at "my grandparents" house and see photos of someone else's family hanging on the walls. But ruthie made my grandpa very happy and you could see how much they cared for each other.
He taught me about true devotion when ruthie later had a stroke and had to go into a rehab facility. Grandpa would visit her every day without fail. He would get there in the morning in time for breakfast and spend the entire day. Ruthie wasn't able to walk so grandpa would wheel her around the facility so she didn't have to sit in her room all day. He would sing to her and tell her silly jokes to make her laugh. All of the nurses fell in love with him. We would go down to visit and it was like he was a celebrity. Everyone loved grandpa.
Ruthie passed away when grandpa was up in NY visiting with us. He immediately got on a plane to go down to Florida to gather some of her things. He then flew to Chicago for the funeral and then back to Florida. He was 99 and he was crossing time zones for the people he loved.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that success is to laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived Congratulations grandpa, you were a huge success, we will share a toast to you tonight with a J&B.
My mom was Pauline. She was the youngest of the original six. And Uncle Dan was the last of the six, the end of the era that defined me, that defined so many of us. My mom was my hero, and her big brother Dan was hers. By extension the love I learned for Uncle Dan was my own magnified through my mother’s lense. I grew up in California, not New York, and although we visited often, my collection of stories is short, but the feelings connected with Uncle Dan are vast. Maya Angelou said something that resonates for me.
People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. ~Maya Angelou
I do have a couple of stories though:
We visited New York often, even living here for a while when I was very young. Last week I found the ticket for my first visit…I was 6 months old. When we visited someone always had a party so we could see the whole family. In Levittown we usually stayed with Uncle Arthur and Aunt Louise, but we swam at Uncle Dan’s. One visit there was an angry blackbird that wouldn’t let us out of the house and into the pool. Uncle Dan bravely stood outside waving his arms at the bird to give us safe passage.
When I was in college Uncle Dan and his girlfriend Ruthie visited California. I was studying design and he helped me to build an architectural model. He and Ruthie’s relationship was still young…my 79 year old uncle had a live-in girlfriend. So hip!
2 years ago Uncle Dan and Susan came to California for my son Benjamin’s bar mitzvah. It was a difficult trip for a 100 year old man, but he out-danced the rest of the party. And he helped pass the torah to my son. He was the only one left in my parent’s generation. He knew how much I needed him, so he came.
Uncle Dan is a piece of me more than he was moments. I dearly loved all of my aunts and uncles, but Uncle Dan defined the Eisenberg’s and the Eisenberg’s define me. He was the kindness, the goodness, the opinionated liberal who shaped my mother and who shaped me. He was the smoker who quit, the scotch drinker who never would. He was the big brother who loved my mother enough to keep searching for her when she felt she had to disappear. He loved her no matter what and he wrapped me in that love too. He loved us all enough to stay on this earth a few years longer than he really wanted to.
His legacy is for us to take his love, his tenacity, his courage and shower it on each other. On our children. Here is a poem from our prayerbook….we read it when my mom died.
When I die give what’s left of me away
To children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.
I want to leave you something,
Something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
And by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
Give me away
zichrona l'vracha, may his memory be a blessing. I love you Uncle Dan
Uncle Dan was born in 1911, and the life expectancy for a male born that year in the US was 51 years. Compared to others born that year, Dan lived two entire lifetimes. Also born in 1911 were Danny Kaye, Lucille Ball, Ronald Reagan and Tennessee Williams. Dan outlasted them all. Just think about the amazing change in our world that Dan witnessed in his 102 year journey: two world wars, the development of air travel, space exploration, the transition from silent movies to talkies, and his beloved Frank Sinatra playing on 78's, then 33's and 45's, then 8 track and cassette tapes, and finally CD and digital.
I also think about his personal journey, and that Dan's life wasn't always easy. The oldest male of six children, he was there to welcome four of his five siblings into the world: Francis, Annie, Mabel, Pauline and Arthur. He subsequently was also there to say goodbye and lay each of them to rest. He experienced the nightmare of burying a daughter and grandchildren. Later he would say an unexpected goodbye to his cherished wife, Jerry. Somehow, Dan would forge on and make the most of his life in spite of his losses. Like the energizer bunny, he just kept going. Dan found love again in his girlfriend Ruth when he was in his 80's, and showed us that despite the pain of loss, love is worth the risk. He played racquetball into his 70's until a broken leg finally sidelined him. After that he just made a point to golf every day. My late father idolized Dan and coveted his active lifestyle and zest for life.
Dan was always ready for a good laugh, and more ready to tell a good, dirty joke. He aged gracefully and maintained the heart of a child. Even though his eyesight and hearing waned in his later years, his mind was sharp as a tack. I think about how fortunate Susan, Craig, Michelle, Heather, Gayle, Eric, Alexandra, Olivia and Jake were to know and enjoy Dan for as long as they did. We know you all cherished him, as did we. I am also so thankful that we were all able to see him for his 99 & 100th birthdays. What a gift for everyone to celebrate such a rare occasion.
Maya Angelou wrote, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". Well I spent most of my quality time with Uncle Dan during my early childhood years and my memories are somewhat vague. I do remember being at my grandparent's house and since we were visiting family my mother would put me in a sweet dress with my patent-leather shoes. I had a toy baton and had found a Styrofoam boater hat like they wear in barbershop quartets. My grandparents had the original Levittown black shiny tile floor, which made for a great stage for tap dancing. I remember putting on a show for Uncle Dan and hearing his hearty laugh that reminded me of Popeye's laugh. When others tired of my performance and eventually left the room, Dan remained, and he even requested encores.
Dan lived a long life, and over 102 years he impacted the lives of many. Eventually we may forget the many words that Dan said. And we may forget the things that Dan did. But all of us here will always remember how Dan made us feel. And for me, well he always made me feel like the most special person in the room. I've since learned that it wasn't just me, but rather an affect he had on those in his presence. His memory will always be that of love, fun and of course "two-fingers" of scotch.
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