Friday, January 13, 2006

In memory of Ike Gatanio

I lost a dear friend, Ike Gatanio, on January 12, and am using my blog to memorialize an extraordinary man. Ike was 83 years old. He died in Boca Raton, Fla. after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer. His death leaves a void in the lives of scores of friends and relatives who knew him as a man of great intelligence, kindness and tolerance and as one who had an uncommon concern for the welfare of others.

Like me, Ike was a seasonal resident of Florida. Both of us maintained primary residences in an adult community in New Jersey. I first met him on the tennis court there some 20 years ago. Over the years, we continued to share an enthusiasm for tennis until geriatric afflictions ended our "athletic" careers.

I will miss Ike dearly. With whom can I now reminisce about World War II military experiences in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, where we both served? Ike's service was more perilous than mine. He was a radio operator on cargo aircraft that flew "the Hump" from India to China.

We also shared political views (the mean-spirited would probably call us "bleeding-heart liberals") and boyhood backgrounds in the Bronx. Ike was a Sephardic Jew whose immigrant parents came to the U.S. from Salonica, Greece. Before his retirement Ike was in the produce (fruit and vegetables) business. Although he lacked formal technical training, he became the computer guru in his retirement years for me and countless other senior citizens struggling to master a new technology.

My heart goes out to his lovely wife Dottie and to his two sons, daughter, and grandchildren.

Magnificent men like Ike Gatanio are a rare species. I was proud and fortunate to have him as a friend.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Steve N said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. My father used to say that if you found one true friend in life, you were blessed. Sounds to me as though both you and Ike were both well and truly blessed.

Friday, January 13, 2006 4:19:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I remember my mother's friend (she was around 86) being so distraught when my mother died. I think that maybe these passages are even harder when you're older if that's possible. My condolences to you.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 1:08:00 AM  
Blogger Norma said...

I sorry for the loss of your friend--and a piece of your past.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, will miss Ike. I am fortunate to have known Ike, even for a short time. I served with him on the Board of the Concordia Computer Club. He was always available whenever a person asked for help with a computer problem.I was a 'gentleman,gentle-man'
My condolences to Dottie and his family.
hptennis@juno.com

Friday, January 20, 2006 8:03:00 AM  
Anonymous turbo tank - lego said...

Hello Friend! I just came across your blog and wanted to
drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with
the information you have posted here.
Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!
If you have a moment, please make a visit to my turbo tank - lego site.
Good luck in your endeavors!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 4:24:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Blog Flux Suggest - Find and Search Blogs
Web Traffic Statistics
Nokia.com Coupon