Family Tribute:When I can’t get to sleep I like to read over the beautiful e-mails people have been sending me regarding Al. I can’t tell you how comforting their words are to me. Maybe I’m crazy, but the words keep him alive. Let me share some of them with you:
Alan was a kind, unassuming gentleman who always had a smile for everyone.
I always found Alan to be a high quality person both professionally and personally.
I worked with Alan for 7 years. During these years, I contacted him countless times and he was always helpful, prompt and pleasant. He always worked hard and seemed to truly enjoy helping others. Alan’s expertise will be sorely missed by me and other Marsh EBS employees around the country.
Alan’s name has always been synonymous with amazing within the EBS practice here at Marsh.
I am sure all the qualities that made him a great co-worker made him a wonderful brother and son.
Alan’s dedication has helped us so many times with assisting our clients, and without a doubt, he has always made us look good.
Alan was so wonderful. He always came through for me whenever I needed information. I called him Mr. Dependable, because he never failed me.
Alan is the epitome of class and professionalism.
While we at Marsh all mourn the loss of this very special man, we know that you and your mother are grieving in a way we can’t understand. I hope that, in some small way, it comforts you to know that there are hundreds of us throughout the country who are praying for you and your family. We will never forget Alan and I will always be grateful that I came to know him as I did. May God’s peace be with you.
My thoughts are with you and I still pray he will magically appear, just as he used to work his magic for me.
As you can see, Al was truly respected and liked by his peers.
I never recall being mad at Alan. At a very young age I learned how much I needed him. When I was 15, Dad told me Mom had cancer and might die. Alan was 20, in college and I was starting high school. Alan & I worked together as a team to keep life as we knew it together. Al could drive and would take mom and me to Monteflore Hospital. I would sit and read a book while mom had her treatments. Alan would take us home. He would go food shopping and I would cook. Let me tell you it was a team effort. Our love for our mom kept our family together. Our love for each other kept us strong. I always knew Al would be there for me. I was only 15 and I was very scared. Alan was a strong shoulder for me to lean on.
On a funnier note, I went off to college (Binghamton) for 4 years. I was very happy to be away from the folks. Graduation day – Mom, Dad and Al came up and Al helped me pack up my stuff. I couldn’t stop crying. I really didn’t want to go back home. Alan just looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Janie, don’t worry, Mom and Dad aren’t THAT bad!!”
Alan and my husband Ken really had a lovely relationship. Alan was always cutting out articles for him on dentistry and other topics he thought Ken would be interested in. They were truly brothers. Just on Sunday before the accident Ken and Alan worked out together at the Whitehall Club – I’m so glad Ken spent that time alone with Alan.
As for Jen, Alan adored his niece. The picture I made up for mom is very special to me. It was taken 7/31/94 – Al came to see his niece for the first time. He was amazed at this new life. Alan has always been sweet and gentle and very generous when it comes to Jen. They liked to tease each other – Alan pretended he didn’t like her special blanket and stuffed teddy bear. This would get Jen’s goat and they would make each other crazy. I loved to watch them play a game together. Alan was patient. Sometimes he didn’t let her win – but that was OK too.
Well, I’m finally tired so I’ll say goodnight. One last thing, if I had a chance to write my own final e-mail to Al, it would be as follows:
Al, I hope you know how much I love you. I have been so lucky to have you as my brother. I’ve always depended on you for comforting words. I’ve relied on your strength to guide us both through tough days. I’ll try and be strong and keep our little family safe and healthy. I’ll miss you every day for the rest of my life.
JanieJane H. Gewant10/14/01
Alan was one of the most kind, sincere, sensitive people I have ever known. He was always upbeat – he exuded positive energy. He loved his family deeply. I will never forget how he took such wonderful care of his dear father, Martin, and how he was constantly concerned for Ruth’s well-being. He was a beloved brother to Jane and a devoted uncle to my daughter, Jen. To me he was my brother, too – not just an in-law. I felt very close to Alan, and I, too, have been deeply hurt by his death.
Alan will be missed by us all. However, thinking about him and remembering funny times makes us happy. One thing about Al that will always make me smile is how I would constantly be amazed at his capacity for food. Alan would eat prodigious quantities of food, but always at a slow pace. At the local delicatessen, he would finish one turkey sandwich and politely ask the waiter for a second sandwich, and polish that one off too. After some gentle teasing from me, his response was always, “slow and steady wins the race.” We would all laugh.
And Alan was steady – always there, always reliable. The kind of person you could always count on – always with a ready smile, a laugh, a positive vibe…an uplifting guy to be around.
Alan and I worked out together at his health club the Sunday before the catastrophic events of September 11th. We took a slow walk back to the apartment together, chatting about his plans for the future. Who could have imagined what would happen? If there is anything positive to he had from all this, it’s that we must all love and appreciate our loved ones every day, and be thankful for every day together.
Kenneth M. Gewant10/14/01
My family and I have suffered a loss too painful for me to face at the moment. A part of my heart and soul are gone.
When Alan was only 4 and a half he came down with a serious chronic illness that kept him a virtual invalid for many years. There were many times I felt G-d was about to take him, but He was good to me and let Alan live until he was 44 years old.
All the letters, calls and comments we have received from friends and those I do not even know, have been of great help to our little family and I thank you all for the great comfort.
Now he is in G-d’s hands and with his father, Martin, who died only 6 months ago.
Ruth L. Richman10/14/01