Jack lived for 93 years 11 months and one day. That comes to 1127 months. As he would have said in his cricket playing days, that one heck of a innings. The best part is that for all but his last month he lived it to the fullest. I don’t have proof but I’m pretty sure that even as an infant he was counting reps with his rattle, pushing himself to roll over one more time, seeing how many head lifts, kicks or fist clenches he could do.
Many of us have experienced Jack’s cajoling and badgering to do more, lift heavier, run or cycle faster, longer and better. He was running before the word jogging was invented. Marathon distances in old rubber-soled leather work shoes running shoes were yet to be developed.
He was partially defined by his love of exercise and love of encouraging everyone else around him. When he could no longer run, he cycled, then transitioned to a stationary bike. And throughout he was religious about lifting the full stack of weights, stomach exercises and the rest of his routine. Once he joined the JCC, the daily dose of cake became equally important.
More importantly were the people. He loved all the social context he had there. You all enriched his life to an immeasurable extent. You truly would his large extended family. Thank you all for all you gave him.
Jack loved and appreciated nature and the outdoors. Karin often recounts the stories of him rounding up the neighborhood kids for a walk up the mountain when it was spring or after a rainfall to see and appreciate the new flowers, especially the protea. The beach and ocean always gave him immense joy. I don’t think there is anyone else in San Diego who so enjoyed their daily commute as much as he did. Granted he was past Torrey Pines beach and to and from the JCC.
His presence is going to be missed by us all. I don’t think he ever made an enemy, only friends.
So I have three requests of everyone here.
Tonight have a drink of whatever your favorite beverage is. Savor the taste in your mouth and your enjoyment of it. Sip it slowly and think of Jack whose favorite line was “it feels good in my mouth”.
Second, the next time you pass the beach, the ocean, the flowers and bushes on the hill around us, appreciate the greenest, the colors and the beauty. Enjoy it for him.
And lastly …. in the future do a little more exercise, live life a little harder, love and enjoy everything a little more and enjoy every day, month and year of your life just as Jack did.
Alan Lurie, Jack Berghaus’s son-in-law.