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Eulogy (names changed to protect the innocent)

Posted 02-05-2021 at 11:08 AM by jbgusa

Eulogy (names changed to protect the innocent) My father-in-law, SDB, December 1993 to January 2021.

On a cold December day in 1933, SDB was born, and died on another cold January day. After 87 wonderful years, surrounded by his beloved daughters, Sali and Dani, to whom he devoted his life, he passed away. Less than 18 hours earlier he was with his daughters, one next to him, the other on Facetime. He was admiring Sali’s two dogs, Nutmeg and Carbon. Rescue dogs were also a major part of his life as well as that of his children and grandchildren. He related to Butch, Taffy, Donut, Cody, Nala and Lucas better than many people. He spent his last conscious hours in a way that he treasured, with his children and their canine friends.

SDB was a well respected attorney. Though his desk was always mountains of papers, he could famously pick out a document from the heaps in seconds. His mind was incredibly organized even if his desk was not. After attending Yale University and Columbia Law School, SDB served his country by joining the Army Reserves. Sali and Dani were born on another frigid December day. Sali and Dani were the loves of his life, and along with their own children Jonathan, Marty, Jake and Dave the reason for his living, and the reason he held on for 87 years despite numerous health challenges. His life itself has been a miracle. Literally everything he did during his life was for their benefit, from ensuring their college educations and summer camps, to providing a guiding presence, both by word and by example.

I met SDB and Georgiana for the first time in February or March 1990, at the Yale Club. I still treasure wearing my “Yale ’55” shirt but that’s a digression. What showed right from the start was his nurturing of his children. I met with SDB for over three hours at his law office on night in December 1990. You have to realize, as my son Jake explained, that he worked “9 to 5” (actually a lot more), but that was 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. I walked back to my apartment having gotten a pretty good measure of my future father-in-law. He asked me some “trick questions” to assure that my loyalty to daughter was firm. Bottom line; his own love and loyalty were undivided. I always felt that I had a warm welcome to the Bryant family. Probably the best honor of my life.

Jackson Heights, Queens was where he was born. Queens was in his blood. One of his last ventures outside of his Manhattan home, other than for medical purposes, was to the Lemon Ice King of Corona. Before that, his last venture was his treasured ocean front home in Westhampton Beach. Georgiana and he built the Westhampton house in hopes that his daughters would bringer their husbands and children there in the future. Some of the boys’ fondest memories of “Papa” were being buried in the sand as well as building sandcastles and digging tunnels under the sand. They also enjoyed being taken to Arthur Ashe Stadium for US Open Kid’s Day.

One of the most meaningful moments for Marty was when his grandfather was able to attend Marty’ performance at Carnegie Hall of the Mozart Coronation Mass.

One fond memory of Jonathan's was SDB asking Jonathan to wake him up early during his visits, despite both being night owls. From this he learned to take advantage of every second you have with someone you love, even if it is uncomfortable at the moment. It will be worth it in the long run.
SDB and Georgiana, during their time together of over fifty years, 49 of them married, traveled the world, and sought out exotic locations, such as Cambodia and Thailand. Their homes are filled with souvenirs. While the legal community and his clients knew him for his obvious great intelligence and legal skills, family defined his life.

Life, sadly, must come to an end. SDB, through his family and his other life work, left the world a better place for his having participated
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