My father Isaac passed away in the early morning of December 21, 2022 at the age
of 75. He was at home in hospice care after a 12-year battle with cancer. My
brother Brian, my sister Julie and our mom Raya were all with him the week
before. Many friends and relatives came through to say their goodbyes and give
us love and support. I was fortunate to be able to make several visits home for
some good times together in the last few months.
Many of you have met my father over the years. He was a kind and gentle soul who loved life and was a source of light for everybody around him. He was a brilliant musician - a clarinetist, accordionist, and a unique and cherished encyclopedia of Jewish and Eastern European folk music. After immigrating from the USSR with my mom and older sister in 1973 he also became one of the most respected and innovative piano technicians in the industry, and was given the Piano Technicians Guild's highest honor, The Golden Hammer Award, in 2021. He loved his work deeply and mentored countless tuners over the years, always generous with his time and knowledge for those who wanted to learn the craft. He continued to work throughout his illness until just a few months ago, when it became too much for him physically.
Through decades of hard work he built an extraordinary life here from nothing and helped countless friends and relatives who immigrated after him to find housing, their first jobs, a car, indeed anything he could do to help get them started in his country, the USA.
He was married to my mom Raya for 51 years and will also be dearly missed by his four grandchildren - Eloise, Jane, Theo, and Lea.
As hard as it is to let him go, I also look forward to toasting and celebrating the man he was and everything he gave and achieved in this life. He loved a good party, and I hope there will be many in the coming days - we just have to find somebody to play his accordion for us.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that everyone honor Isaac's wishes by donating in his memory to the following:
The Piano Technicians Guild Foundation
4444 Forest Avenue,
Kansas City, Kansas 66106
The North Bennet Street School