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1946 - 2023

John and I were classmates at Brighton High School, class of 1964. Since graduation, he had kept in touch with me over all these nearly sixty years, writing me a short letter once a month. He usually enclosed newspaper clippings about things he thought I might be interested in, such as chemistry (I was a chemistry major), other areas of science, London (my late wife was British), or news of my relatives that had appeared in Rochester newspapers. He was very intelligent, passionately interested in history and politics (he would faithfully send me a tally of his voting choices after each election). Also he was an aspiring poet and occasionally managed to publish. He had a mental crisis in high school but did graduate and went on to graduate from the U of R. After that, I know that he worked for some time at the radio station WXXI in Rochester. It is sad that he never reached his career potential, but I recognize that his emotional problems must have held him back. The last time I saw him in person was in 1993, when he made a condolence call to my mother's house in Brighton, after she passed away. Over the last year, his letters had became less frequent, and, in fact the last letter that I received from him was dated November 30, 2022. I had recently responded in a letter dated April 14, but of course now I know that he will never see it. I would like to convey my deepest condolences to his family.

Posted by Henry Brenner on April 27, 2023

John and I were classmates at Brighton High School. He continued to keep track of my family and send me newspaper clippings. Very sorry for your loss.

Posted by Judy MacKnight on March 19, 2023

John was a classmate at BHS, class of 64. He also lived in my neighborhood. I had not seen him since graduation until my brother passed away almost 10 years ago. He visited me during shiva, which was so thoughtful of him I was very sorry to hear of his passing. Baruch Dayan Haemet. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Judy Perlman Brody on March 19, 2023

I have kept in touch with John for many years. We knew each other from Temple Beth El & BHS. As I recall, John had a mental health crisis in our senior year at BHS. He attended U of R part-time and eventually graduated with a degree in history - always his passion - despite other mental health crises, which continued through his lifetime. He was able to do some volunteer work post-college - in a library, I believe. He lived with his parents at 126 Glen Ellen Way until they died and continued living there. While visiting the cemetery once, I happened to see his parents’ double headstones. When I told him, he said he never had the emotional strength to visit himself. John visited the house of mourning when both of my parents died and speculate he did so for other acquaintances; making condolence visits is an expectation on Jews, which John dutifully fulfilled. He read newspapers voraciously, keeping track of BHSers’ accomplishments and family lives and sharing the the info with his correspondents. Local and national politics also interested him greatly. He sent me typewritten letters for many years and then handwritten ones; never used technology. He also clipped newspaper articles and sent them to me. In fact, he sent an article about a Jewish art museum in a private home in the Washington DC area (not far from my home in Baltimore) that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about! I visited it, and it was a worthwhile experience. He managed to live alone with the oversight of cousins and the assistance of a part-time paid caregiver. He told me she died about a year ago. I wondered how her death impacted him. For many years he held out the hope of marrying and was disappointed that hope never materialized. John lived life as best he could. May his memory be for a blessing.

Posted by Susan Russell on March 19, 2023

I knew John growing up on Glen Ellyn Way in Brighton as he was a neighbor of mine and lived across the street. We also graduated together from Brighton High School, class of '64. I often wondered how he was doing since our high school days. Very sorry to hear this sad news and my deepest condolences to his family on his passing. May his memory be for a blessing.

Posted by Sharyn Gelb Diamond on March 17, 2023

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