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I remember clear as day the first time I met Allan.


It was his birthday, twenty-eight years ago, making him just a year older than I am now.


Steve and I had been dating only weeks then, and we went to the boat to have dinner. I was so nervous to meet his father for the first time and also trying to wrap my head around eating on a boat in autumn.


Fear not. The meal, of course, as prepared by Anne, was delicious and Allan so warm and friendly, and the boat surprisingly cozy.


Until COVID I do not think Allan had ever greeted me without a hug and kiss. We got to know each other over many holidays celebrations and watching Steve play hockey at the barn on Saturday afternoons.


Over the years I learned more about his childhood and how he met his first wife, Enid at Kensington Beach outside Detroit. How they lived in a tiny apartment in Toronto while he was still in school before moving to Windsor to start his practice. His complicated second marriage--including adopting her son, Brian, who he treated as his own, which he told Steve directly. His love story with Anne that started of course on the boat, when she accompanied a friend for the day and basically never left. When I married Steve I told him that if I took one-eighth as good care of him as my mother had my father, he was a lucky man. Allan was a very lucky man having Anne take care of him. He loved the efforts she put into their home as well, especially the holidays--he was like a kid at Christmas he loved it so much.


Although he was practicing dentistry in those early days, Allan was only my dentist for a short period of time. I remember his retirement party, where dozens of old patients had come to see him. In my many years of living in Windsor, I cannot count how many times I was asked if I was related to him when they learned my last name. Including when I enrolled Jaron in school for JK and the principal too had been a patient of his growing up and Anne, who works at the border and never failed to ask about him when I pulled up to her booth.


But the side of Allan I liked the best I didn’t see until 2007 when Jaron was born. He was enamoured from the start. When we lived in the States they would come over all the time to see him, take him to lunch at Buddy’s. When we moved back to Windsor that bond became stronger than ever. Allan and Anne would pick him up from school at least once a week and they would have dinner together. Aside from breaks due to the pandemic this continued until the last few weeks. 


Allan and Jaron shared a very special bond and were good friends. Allan dressed up as the tooth fairy when Jaron was little and came over on Halloween. He rarely missed a baseball game of his, although he was hardly a fan of the sport. When Jaron wanted to catch and Allan saw the team’s equipment he went out and bought him his own. He would take Jaron and his friends go-karting. Jaron always came home from dinner there in a good mood, and it wasn’t just the food. When COVID separated them, Allan would stop by and talk at the front door, mask on, just to see Jaron. Luckily he did just that the night before his surgery—asking about his friends and high school. 


I believe Allan would want us to celebrate his life and I also like to believe that somewhere out there he is reuniting with his parents and his sister, his good friend Paul and watching Red Wings with his father-in-law Leo. My deepest condolences to Steve and Mike, Anne and Jaron.


The following is the English translation of the mourners Kaddish, a prayer recited for the dead.


Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world

which He has created according to His will.


May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,

and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;

and say, Amen.


May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.


Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,

adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,

beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that

are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.


May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us

and for all Israel; and say, Amen.


He who creates peace in His celestial heights,

may He create peace for us and for all Israel;

and say, Amen.

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