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Ira, a dear, dear man July 19, 2008

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Mary Mazur
New York, NY


Ruchl’s mother and my mother were sisters. Before Ruchl’s illness I didn’t know Ira very well. We would see each other a few times a year at family gatherings or going out for dinner. During Ruchl’s illness I got to know a man of integrity who was a private person, shy and modest, considerate to a fault, and tireless in his devotion to Ruchl.

While still at home, as Ruchl declined, Ira’s days were filled with sickroom chores, shopping, cooking, and major decisions; only then did he finally (after much prodding) seek help. He found Wendy Clarke, Ruchl’s patient, loving caregiver.

During Ruchl’s hospitalization, Ira’s daughter Ruth spun into action, anticipating Ruchl’s needs, reorganizing the apartment, buying whatever was needed for Ruchl’s care and comfort, and taking care of her father, who often forgot to take care of himself. Ruchl’s homecoming was not to be.

In the hospital Ira would sit for hours and hours each day — he didn’t want Ruchl to be alone. He sat holding her hand under the covers as friends and family came and went. Ira was constant. Based on information from the doctors, he was forced to make agonizing decisions. He spoke to those close to Ruchl and asked their opinions. “I want to do the right thing,” he said.

In preparation for her memorial he knew exactly how he wanted to honor and cherish her memory. I now knew a man for whom I have deep affection — a dear, dear man.



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