My dad, Noah Temkin, passed away this past Friday after a drawn-out battle with Alzheimer’s. Rather than dwell on my sadness (which he would absolutely hate), I decided to list some of the many lessons that I have learned from his life:
- Always help others. My dad was active in many activities, from the University of Rhode Island to his high school reunion class, to the Jewish Community Center, to the Bridge Club Of RI, to the Paraplegic Association Of RI… and the list goes on. He became a leader in almost every group he joined because of his unflappable desire to help others.
- Make sure to laugh. My dad loved to joke and have fun; he was playful. Even when he was teaching me a lesson, it was often accented with some humor. Many times he’d tell me that I did something wrong by saying “why is it that there are more horses asses than there are horses.”
- Keep the odds in your favor. My dad was an incredible card player; Bridge, Poker, Gin Rummy… whatever. He actually supported our family playing poker poker when I was born. He taught me to get out of losing hands and keep the bluffing to a minimum — so that it remains a credible option. His approach was simple: lose small, but win big.
- Live life to the fullest. My dad loved life. His enthusiasm was infectious and he alway found a way to have good time. He refused to let even Alzheimer’s keep him down.
- Stay true to who you are. My dad was always the same guy. It didn’t matter who he was dealing with, you knew what you were getting. Even up until the very end, my dad was joking around and demonstrating his deep caring for his family and friends.
If you’re interested, here’s the eulogy that I delivered at his funeral.
Dad, rest in peace.