Originally published on Friday, December 31, 2010 at 2:09pm
A shiva candle burns at my house in Warwick, the same house Martin called home for nearly forty years.
Thank you to everyone who attended the memorial service this morning. It was great to see you all! In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the RI Community Food Bank. 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907.
Though she was unable to travel from FL for the funeral due to pregnancy, my sister Sara wrote the beautiful eulogy below, which was read at the memorial service.
By Sara Berman Hanson
Not many people can say that at the age of 28 or 32 they still have living grandparents; it is rare. Not many people can also say that they grew up truly knowing their grandparents. My brother Marc and I are lucky enough to be able to say both.
My Nana and Grandpa lived five minutes from our home for the majority of my life. My Grandpa picked us up after school once a week for many years and brought us to his house. While Nana cooked dinner he sat with us at the kitchen table and helped with our homework. While we ate, with M*A*S*H and Cheers playing on the television, Nana would tell silly stories about Grandpa. There are many to choose from, but I always liked hearing about the time he dressed up like a ballerina for Halloween, fake eyelashes and all. Grandpa always made sure there were “Flying Saucers” from Carvel for our after-dinner treat.
Summers meant the beach for my Grandparents. Marc and I would often sleep over and then head to Sand Hill Cove bright and early with them. I have wonderful memories of building sandcastles with Grandpa. We would play in the surf for hours and whenever a big wave came he would lift me high in the air so that it couldn’t knock me down.
As I got older I still saw my Grandparents often, however eventually I moved away to go to college and live in Florida. Even though it was a challenge for him, my Grandpa traveled all the way from Rhode Island with my parents to see me graduate from college. The very first person I saw when I entered the gymnasium on graduation day was my Grandpa in his Koch Eye Associates hat. He loved that hat, and I loved him.
Over the years Grandpa and I always kept in touch by mail, even up until recently, I was still receiving cards and letters from him. He turned eighty-eight years old on the day before my wedding; we surprised him with a big cake, it was a great night.
My Grandpa lived for his family. He loved his wife, children, and grandchildren deeply. He would do anything for them. Maybe it is selfish, but there is a part of me that is happy I was not able to see him in these last few months. I would prefer to remember my Grandfather as the energetic, sweet, silly, loving man that I grew up with. When I close my eyes, I picture him at the end of our street, riding his bike to our house on a warm summer night. I remember the feeling of excitement I felt that that was my Grandpa and he was coming to see us. I can only hope that my future son, his first great-grandchild, Andrew Martin Hanson will be half the man that my grandfather was.