Larry Stern

 Larry is son #1

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I'm Larry, the oldest son -- the one who provided Albert, Betty and Midge with a test case before they raised their own children. (laughter) I remember Dad by several events which attest to the qualities which he embodied.

As I left his home in Arizona, usually after dinner or a visit...for over 25 years, Dad would walk me out on the porch…next to the carport...rain or shine...and wave goodbye until I backed out of the driveway and departed...he did this as long as he lived in Arizona and it demonstrated the warm sense of family values he held. He was the glue that kept the Stern cousins, uncles, aunts and grandkids in touch, as his 90th birthday celebration so aptly illustrated.

When my children, Danielle and Lance, were growing up, they spent one night a week at his house, often hearing stories of family episodes and events.

His honesty (and occasional lack of sensitivity) was legendary in our household. As some of you know, his written history of the Stern family pulled no punches and irritated a few of you.

Once Dad confronted me in the woods near our house and asked if I had taken a large block of cheese from the refrigerator to my fort. Holding the cheese behind my back, I vehemently denied knowledge of any such misdeed...and after a spanking, spent the rest of the weekend in my room. Honesty was its own reward and after filling up the neighbor's fishpond with garbage on a 20-degree day, I told the truth and was not punished, even though Dad had to wade in the freezing water and clean it up!

His dedication was a quality we all admired...to Terese his wife of 53 years and to Helen who gave him 10 years of happy companionship.

After his family, education was his lifelong avocation, for himself, his sons and grandchildren. This went hand in hand with the legal profession he revered. He was especially proud of his brother Al, who became a paralegal after retiring from retail merchandising.

While Dad was short in stature, he excelled in the law profession as few have, combining it with a sense of humor…he smiled and laughed until the last few days of his life. He would light up when Helen entered his room in the nursing home and could joke about his loss of memory when not able to recall.

He set a wonderful example for his children and grandchildren with his warmth, integrity and achievements. We miss him.

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