ForeverMissed
Tributes
This tribute was added by Aylin Duranberk on October 7, 2020
I always felt that my dad Gurol and uncle Hasan were best friends since the Naval Academy. They shared dreams, ideas and even an apartment together after graduation. A friendship/brotherhood of two very intelligent men with much respect and kindness for each other. Hasan amca always came to visit my parents, when he was in Turkey. My parents always looked forward to his visits.After the usual catch ups and dinners etc. Hasan amca and my dad would always end up in their own corner of the living room, just talking about, I have no idea what :-) possibly saving the world, or more likely just catching up. They've always looked peaceful in their, somewhat quite conversations. This has never changed over the years. The Duranberk family, especially my father, will be missing Hasan amca very dearly. May he rest in peace...
This tribute was added by Deniz Erezyilmaz on October 6, 2020
Turks will know this poem well. Here is the english translation that my dad read to introduce me to Nazim Hikmet.

On Living
Nazim Hikmet - 1902-1963
I

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example—
  I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
  that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
                      your back to the wall,
  or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people—
  even for people whose faces you've never seen,
  even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
  that even at seventy, for example, you'll plant olive trees—
  and not for your children, either,
  but because although you fear death you don't believe it,
  because living, I mean, weighs heavier.
II

Let's say we're seriously ill, need surgery—
which is to say we might not get up
from the white table.
Even though it's impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we'll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we'll look out the window to see if it's raining,
or still wait anxiously
for the latest newscast. . .
Let's say we're at the front—
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
we might fall on our face, dead.
We'll know this with a curious anger,
    but we'll still worry ourselves to death
    about the outcome of the war, which could last years.
Let's say we're in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
            before the iron doors will open.
We'll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind—
                I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
    we must live as if we will never die.
III

This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
        and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet—
 I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
 in pitch-black space . . .
You must grieve for this right now
—you have to feel this sorrow now—
for the world must be loved this much
                if you're going to say "I lived". . .
This tribute was added by Debbie And Jay Kracht on October 5, 2020
We are Hassan's Duvall neighbors for most of 30 years. We didn't get to know him well until the last 5 or so years and he was always interesting and clearly very intelligent. We were impressed by his love of nature and his devotion to his daughter. His wit and charm will be missed. Deniz is a testament to what a good man he was. Whenever he spoke of her he would beam with pride.  We are happy we have been able to get to know Deniz better lately and hope that she will spend time in our neighborhood in the future.  It will be a way to stay connected to a wonderful man gone too soon.
This tribute was added by Aysen Karabuk on October 5, 2020
Happy Birthday in heaven, dayi! Miss you more today!
This tribute was added by Gurol Duranberk on October 5, 2020
I met Hasan in 1951 when we were attending to Naval Highschool. Our friendship continued up to present day. After graduation we shared an apartment in Istanbul. In the late years of school and after graduation he had a stomach problem ‘gastritis’. So he was always cautious about his food. After I learned that he has bile-duct cancer I asked him if he remembers that. He said yes this was the reason of the desease.
We have several memories to remember. I always admired his handling problems with sobriety and dignity. Rest in peace Hasan I will not forget you ...

P.S. I selected some pictures but I could not upload them because of version difference with my old computer. I suppose I will solve it in the following days.

This tribute was added by Karen Eaton on October 4, 2020
My name is Karen. Hasan was my stepfather.

I have early memories of Hasan when he was dating my mother, back in the mid-sixties. Mother had been a receptionist to the Mayor of Seattle, Hasan was an officer aboard a Turkish ship that had docked in Seattle. They met at a reception for the Turkish Navy.

I remember Hasan as very handsome in his white uniform. We children were allowed to tour the Turkish ship, and even my teacher came to visit the ship after I had mentioned it in show-and-tell. I have included some pictures from that time. One of my favorite pictures is Hasan getting into the spirit of Halloween. That is me and my brother looking up to him, which is what we did in real life too.

Over the years we saw each other infrequently, but when we did, we picked up from where we had left off. He was intelligent, thoughtful, and always very kind. He had a dry sense of humor, too. I once told him that I thought he should get a microwave. He joked that he had started life cooking over a fire, and had learned to use an electric stove, but that was about as far as he could go in one lifetime.

As any father would, he gave his opinion about what we were doing in our lives. He usually made his opinion known as if it was more of a parable or an analogy. If he had said “Well I think you should do this….” we would probably not have listened. But it was his way to quietly suggest things, maybe to make us rethink a little. For this guidance I will be forever grateful.

In the past year Hasan had some health problems. Until covid-19 came along, I had tried to see him once a week to see how he was doing. He told me lots of stories about my mother, about their time there together, about growing up in Turkey. He showed me pictures of his home in Turkey, with its fruit trees and places to walk. He longed to return there where he could be near his sisters and their children. I am glad for that time now, as it gave us a chance to reconnect. 

Thank you, Hasan, for your presence in my life. -Karen
This tribute was added by Aysen Karabuk on October 4, 2020
Dayi was an animal lover. He always told me stories about his animals. Especially his love for the family horse and the big cat Shorty. I really enjoyed listening to those stories. When I asked about what happened to the horse, I noticed that he was getting teary eyed. Dayi had a big heart for animals and nature.
This tribute was added by Greta Martin on October 4, 2020
Ok, I am not good at this. Maybe my last link did not come through correctly. Here is what I’m hoping is correct.
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/48lJLl9V1U7alyDYT2Maaw?si=iwrtRblCRyqdx6eqajenCw
This tribute was added by Greta Martin on October 4, 2020
https://open.spotify.com/track/6voFhdhuvniPqnrHHSxAyX?si=wQh_FLj_RbGYXpPntfGq1g

I created a playlist that reminded me of Hasan. If anyone would like to listen, enjoy.
This tribute was added by Aysen Karabuk on October 3, 2020
Dear beloved and sweet Hasan dayi is my husband’s uncle. Dayi (in Turkish it means ‘uncle’ ) and I had a special bond between us. It has been almost two weeks since he left us and I can’t wrap my head around it. When I was with him at the hospital, a doctor thought he was my father. I told the doctor that he was my husband’s uncle and despite we don’t have blood connection, we have deep connection in heart. Dayi, although he was sick and quiet and weak, yelled across the room and said “thats right!’! We all laughed.
About 20 years ago, I was thrilled when my husband Suleyman told me that he had an uncle in Seattle. For the last 17 years or so, we visited dayi quite a few times. That is when he would get us salmon fish which we had never had tastier ones before. He would say, “ I got it, you cook it!” I would happily prepare the salmon along with potatoes and corn. Once I cooked the corn too much. He said “ when the water boils, just let the corn sit in boiled water for a few minutes”. That’s when I realized the corn was much tastier and softer. He is the person who taught me how to cook corn. My husband and I both fell in love with Seattle because of dayi’s warm and welcoming hospitality.
Dayi always talked about how good his sisters’s ( Fatma and Hatice anne) food was. When he stayed with us he would tell me that my cooking was as good as Hatice’s”. That would make me so happy.
Dayi was the sweetest gentle soul. He was the epitome of a perfect gentleman. He was always polite and so kind. He would thank even for the smallest things. When asked his opinion about something, he would be open, honest and talk straight to the point. He was very wise.
Dayi loved his house in Duvall. His face would change to a smile as soon as we would enter the driveway. He always told me that it would be very hard to leave his home and go to Turkey. He loved Turkey and his sisters. But he also loved nature that surrounded him. He was particular in certain things. For instance, the gate to his house had to be kept closed all the time. He would gently ask me to close the gate if I forgot. He would say” If you dont want deers or bears walking around the backyard, keep the door shut”.
Dayi was very near and dear to my heart. I will always remember him as being the kindest, sweetest and the dearest family member that I was so fortunate to know and be a part of his life.
I will always remember him for his warm smile, his kindness, our coffee sessions and dunking biscotti in it, his attachment to his house in the woods in Duvall and his huge love and respect for his daughter Deniz and her kids.
You left a hole in my heart by leaving us. Rest in peace dayi! Love you very much! You are gone but will never be forgotten!

This tribute was added by Greta Martin on October 3, 2020
Thank you for sharing the lovely eulogy, Deniz. You truly captured his life and spirit. I will miss his quiet yet straightforward demeanor. Many of my memories of him and feelings are associated with the wonderful spread of delicious and healthy food he always had. Visiting with him always meant there would be something good to eat laid out on the table. I recall once he made some “movie snacks” for us that included a giant brick of feta cheese, a loaf of bread, tomatoes and peaches. It was quite the feast and so much better than just having popcorn!

Last winter when he was still going through the herculean effort to recover from his surgery, we had a long day at the hospital with doctors appointments for him. Despite being very exhausted, he wanted to stop on the way home to go grocery shopping. I suspect he wanted to make sure he had everything needed to put together a nice meal for us even though he really did not have much appetite. Of course, when we got home and unloaded the groceries, I found his kitchen already fully larded with delicious and healthy whole foods, which was how his kitchen always was. I will note, however, he relished offering me a coca cola from his secret stash with an impish grin – he said that Deniz did not approve. 

He sure had a unique and open minded spirit, just as Deniz so eloquently described in the eulogy. One of my favorite stories of his was when he had to take down the old mobile home on the duvall property and remove purple loosestrife from the wetland on a short deadline. As he was frantically working to get this done and just thinking how he wasn’t going to make it, two Mormon missionaries came down the driveway to proselytize. Those boys had no idea what they were about to get themselves into. They asked if he needed help and he gladly accepted. They were in hip waders removing the purple loosestrife by hand because he did not wish to use poison on the wetland. With their generous help he managed to get everything done. And he was happy to sit with them afterwards and listen to what they had to say (around a table of wonderful whole foods no doubt). Though he was not converted in any way, he respected what they had to say and kept the book of Mormon on his shelf. I just love this about him and try to model this type of open mindedness in my life.

I will miss my cool uncle so much. He had a quiet and sincere way about him, but he was jolly and silly at times to. He truly was a good man from a better time as Deniz said. He and my dad passed away roughly a year apart and its really made me reflect on what an imprint both of those men have had on me. I’m sad to lose them, but I feel grateful to have had them in my life. With everything going on in the world right now, that’s a nice thing to feel.

My mom has some pictures I sure. I will work with her to get them posted. More soon!

This tribute was added by Greg Martin on October 2, 2020
Your eulogy was beautifully written, Deniz. Getting to know your dad a little better is a gift. Thank you for that. My story of Hasan is that of generosity. When I was in school, studying to be a teacher, Hasan would let me stay with him in KIrkland once or twice each week. He insisted on cooking a simple and delicious meal each time I visited. After dinner, we would sit for hours, sometimes talking, sometimes sitting quietly and watching the news together. Hasan was a keen thinker, and while watching the news he made more than a few predictions that came true. He was also very generous in his opinion. When I would be a little down over some way I had come up short, he knew just what to say to bring me back up. Speaking of my mistakes he would tell me they (and the process of overcoming them) were “the spice of life”. It makes me miss Hasan, his generosity, his unique mind, and his keen sense of humor. He was a role model for me, and I will always remember him with love.
This tribute was added by Ken Irish on October 2, 2020
Thanks Deniz for writing a broader context to hold the brief moment in which I knew Hasan.
We knew each other intermittently which is the regrettable case for far too many neighbors. Our properties adjoin with a good bit of impassable forest between our front doors. When the neighborhood gathered for annual road work parties and subsequent pizza, Hasan was the fellow of excellent taste that brought fresh figs for the pizza. That's a memorable act in these parts. It has been, and will continue to be, of the most requested combinations.
Our relationship began in earnest far too late. We visited a number of times in the hospital after his stomach surgery. He had endured so much and had so many questions up ahead but his attitude was kind and gracious and one foot in front of the other. When freedom from the hospital finally came he suggested that he might like to take me out for the hot dog special at Costco. A man of international cuisine and good taste was not too haughty to recognize a good dog. We talked about his early years in the Turkish Navy. He shared the seminal story when is ship needed maintenance and some refitting so they came to Seattle to do the work. I believe it was 1960 that they docked and immediately thereafter were told they would need to stay in Seattle significanly longer than they had planned as a result of a longshoreman's strike. He told me he was quite grateful for the work stoppage because it was then that he met a beautiful young woman named Betty. The ship was finally finished and shipped out to San Diego...as did Betty on separate conveyance. They had had enough time by then to realize they wanted their futures to converge. There was some back and forth between Turkey and the US and finally settling in Kirkland. I may have some historical details wrong, but I did catch, with certainty, the lively glint in his eyes as he spoke of his seaside romance, their ensuing love and marriage and finally, with his eyes softening, her passing far, far too early. I'm a believer in the continuation of spirit, in the reunion of spirits, in a place that celebrates the fullness of being. So, I'm confident that there is a toast of celebration being raised accompanied by a fresh fig and balsamic syrup pizza.
This tribute was added by Amy Herzog on October 2, 2020
It was wonderful to learn more about Hasan through your beautiful eulogy, Deniz. I wish we could all gather to celebrate the life of this kind and wise man. I laughed out loud when I read these words: "Having a child is not an accomplishment, Deniz! Having a PhD is an accomplishment!" We parents all strive for those memorable moments of supporting our kids in exactly the right way at the right moment by simply saying something true.
The times I met Hasan, he was always warm, thoughtful and funny -- and it was always obvious how extremely proud he was of you.
Sam, Franny, Jo and I send our love to you four.

Leave a Tribute