Remarks from Louise Klemperer

Louise is Helen's daughter

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I am Louise Klemperer, Helen Stern's daughter, and I will speak about Bob's later years from the Klemperer family perspective.

More than 10 years after my father, Leo Klemperer, had passed away, Mom told me, excitedly, about a new man in her life. She said he'd been recently widowed, and she had played golf with his deceased wife, but had never met him before. He was as passionate about golf as she was, and they both enjoyed swimming and had a similar lifestyle -- including some friends in common.

She said he now seemed to be taking an intense interest in her -- he even took a short class in Southwest Native American art with her (it was only after I got to know him better that I realized what a "Big Deal" that was!!).

The turning point in their courtship came for Mom when he invited her to his house and said he'd cook her dinner (again -- it was only after I knew him better that I realized - he didn't cook!!). Well, he put 2 whole artichokes in the microwave, turned it on, and exploded them both!! (laughter) Mom concluded from that: "He needs me!!"

They married in 1990.

The early years of their marriage were very sweet -- lots of traveling, visiting old friends, golf, swimming, going out to dinner -- Mom especially loved dancing with Bob -- a lot of time was spent with their families. They both were very happy and flourished.

At the time they were married, Mom had said to me, "I'm 79, most of my friends are either terminally ill or dead, but I feel like I'm starting a whole new life!" And she did, with Bob.

Then Bob started forgetting things, and to all who had known his sharp mind, it was clear something wasn't right. As his Alzheimer's progressed, what did NOT change was his and Mom's devotion to each other. He was hugging, kissing, or patting her more than ever, and as he forgot things, Mom was incredibly patient with him. She was always creatively trying to figure out ways for him to do things, and ways to cope with his memory loss.

And with her attitude, and their devotion to each other, they were able to squeeze out another few years of happiness together at stages in his mental deterioration when many other Alzheimer's patients and their families become surly or nasty towards each other.

And even at the end, when he could not recognize some of his own family members, he always recognized her, brightened when she came in the room, and kissed her hand tenderly.

I am very greatful for the happiness Mom had, and created, with Bob.

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