Si Existo Melius For

“It would be better if…”


Today would have been my father’s 78th birthday. He died unexpectedly in May of 1993, at the relatively young age of 56. The cause was eventually determined to be an angina rupture.

I had a lot of trouble writing something about him. I strongly suspect that my mom’s health currently being in free-fall has something to do with that. So, I’ll just feature some photographs that I pilfered from my brother’s facebook page. (Sorry, Jim.)

At his wedding in 1964.

With his father in 1953.

My father was a mathematician to the core. His world was defined by absolutes. He wasn’t a patient man, and he wouldn’t suffer fools. He was formidably intelligent, and apparently a very stern – but fair – professor. Many of his students at SUNY Cortland actually feared him, especially those in the 100 level courses. Though as I understand it, math and science majors actually tried to get into his 300 and 400 level courses on computer science and advanced calculus.

With mom, Memere, and my brother, in 1989.

He also had a very wry and ironic sense of humor. Sometimes his one liners would fly over people’s heads, but those who caught them usually chuckled. Or they groaned, because he was also a lethal punslinger.

With his brother, and brother-in-law, 1980.

He and I had many differences over the years, especially near the end of his life. He was a troubled man in many ways, but he always wanted the best for my brother and I. He did everything in his power to make sure we had at least the same opportunities that he had, if not more. And, he was a good dad. He’s proving to be a surprisingly hard act to follow.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or miss him.