Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A sadness too sad to be true

The obituary I wrote for my dad after the longest day in my life.


November 30, 1926 –June 21, 2011

Passed away peacefully at age 84 at Peace Arch Hospital, B.C.. Syd is survived by his loving wife, Phyllis Olson; his son, Dr. Brian Koffman and wife, Patty; his four grandchildren, the very pregnant Rachael (Nick Sowers), Heather, Ben, and Will; and his dear sister Sonya Fox and her children, Brandon (Carmen) and Lloyd. He will be deeply missed by his in-laws and cousins, nieces and nephews. His parents, Ben and Lena, and wives, Ruth and Georgina, predecease him.

Born in Toronto, Syd worked at Famous Players where he met Ruth, the first love of his life and mother of Brian. Soon he began his life long career with Pepsi, first supervising truck routes, advancing until he retired as VP. He was proud of his charity work with Variety Club and Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation (a lodge is named in his honor). “Mr. Pepsi” went on to run a successful B&B with Georgie in Whistler before retiring a second time to Langley and then to White Rock where he and Phyllis have enjoyed their association with the Rotarians.

He was a doting husband, a strong father, a generous brother, an engaging Zadie, a charming uncle, and a funny and fun loving companion: someone you would want on a desert island or in his case, a cruise stop. Syd was a mench who loved well, and was loved.

Compared to death, even cancer seems trivial. I will write more when I can.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


So very sorry to hear of your very sad loss. May his memory be for a blessing and wishing you all 'Long Life'.

The new baby will be especially important now; Ha'Shem takes and he gives.

Be strong and may your memories be of some comfort.


June 23, 2011 at 3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to you Patty and family. No one ever dies as long as there is someone left to remember and when there is no one left to remember that means you are all together again. May God meet all you needs and comfort you. Always, Bunny Collins

June 23, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Wetcoasters said...

Brian: My condolences. He sounds like a great man! My own father is now 95 and his health is failing. He too is a real mensch.

All the best from a fellow traveller in many ways.

Thanks for your blog and sharing.

June 23, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Dragon Slayer said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine the pain you must feel at losing your beloved Father. Our thought and prayers are with yr family. Please tell us what you need.

Wanda and Robert

June 23, 2011 at 10:21 AM  
Anonymous CLL Spouse in Ohio said...

So sorry for your loss.

This is one of the best obituaries I've ever read. He made his mark and seems to have set the bar pretty high for the rest of you. I think that's wonderful. May the coming days and weeks be rich with memories that bless.

June 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger jbh said...

No matter how much we anticipate it happening - in the fullness of time - there is such profound sadness at the loss of a beloved parent.
I know that your dad was well loved by you and your family - and, I'm sure, by all those you mention and more.
His being a "mensch" surprises me not in the least. It must be one of the fine traits he inherited from his son....or is that the other way around?
Sending you and your family much love tonight.

June 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian -- so sorry for your loss. Wishing you God's comfort and peace as you go through the tough days ahead.

--Janet Morrison

June 24, 2011 at 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts are of you and your family at this very sad time. Sending you my deepest condolences on the loss of a very special and important person in your lives.

My Very Best,
Penny L.

June 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Lezlei Ann Young said... sorry to hear of your remain in my thoughts and prayers. Lezlei

June 26, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss, Brian. Thinking of you and the family.

June 26, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger David R said...

My sympathies go out ot you, Patty and your family. May you cherish your memories of him, and continue his generous spirit.


June 29, 2011 at 12:56 PM  

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