Monday, September 11, 2006

In Stephen's Memory

The attack on the World Trade Center sent shockwaves for thousands of miles. One of those waves washed over our house, as we learned that our brothe in law, my wife's sister's husband, Steve Lefkowitz, had died in the attack. Steve was an ebullient, eminently likeable guy. I always carry around something he told my wife. In response to her remark that he always seemed to make new friends, he responded that he was too old to stand on ceremony and wait to be approached. He always took the initiative and extended his hand first. That was Stephen, and that is quite a legacy that he leaves his wife, Sara, son Daniel and everyone else who knew him.

The following is what the Times had to say about him.

January 6, 2002
Stephen Lefkowitz: Natural Big Brother

Throughout his life, Stephen P. Lefkowitz was always doing something for somebody: participating in the Big Brother program as a young man, buying his parents a car, providing someone in need with a place to stay. "He always had time for other people even if that meant he didn't have time for something he wanted to do," said Eric Migdal, who was 10 when Mr. Lefkowitz became his "Big Brother" and who remained in touch even as an adult. But after his marriage five years ago when he was 45, Mr. Lefkowitz seemed to expand his reach as he raised his son, Daniel, and became more active in family, politics and Judaism.

A mediator with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance who worked at 2 World Trade Center, he had helped organize a solidarity march for Israel in his Belle Harbor, Queens, community during the summer and had volunteered as co-treasurer for the City Council campaign of Lew M. Simon in the fall. "In many ways," said his wife, Sara, "he was just starting his life."

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