June 26, 2015 admin

HERO: Charles Denkensohn

by Sheri Denkensohn

Age 47. Arlington, VA

My hero is my father, Charles Denkensohn. At 92 he is suffering from renal failure but he is sharp as anything and has decided to forgo dialysis. I have been writing his eulogy in my mind for weeks, not knowing when he will die.

I have been writing his eulogy in my mind for weeks, not knowing when he will die.

I know that at 92 I am blessed to have had such a wonderful life with him, especially because all of his mental faculties are in place. So, I know his time is near. But I will miss him in my life because of his personality. He is always positive. The cup is never empty. He dedicated his life to helping others even though he started with nothing. He grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His father was on his way to be a Fortune 500 millionaire with a woman’s armband and garter company before the depression. His father lost everything and had to reinvent himself. At age 14 my father knew he had to work, so he went out to Long Island and worked on the farm of his relatives, bringing any money that he earned to his father. My father wanted to be a veterinarian, but had no money to go to school. So he moved to the country, married my mother and became a cattle dealer. He worked 24/7 for years with little money left over. When farms were becoming larger, he knew this was no way to survive and at age 43 changed his career to be a financial advisor. I was born two years later.

My father’s greatest love was going around at holiday time giving out gifts to his clients. He wrote birthday cards to every single client.

My father worked until he was 91 years old and became a successful and financially stable man. But that was not what I saw alone. I saw him dedicating his life to his clients. No matter what time of day or night, even if we were eating dinner, he would be on the phone with them for hours or at their homes helping them make their lives secure and ensuring that their later years would be financially stable. My father’s greatest love was going around at holiday time giving out gifts to his clients. He wrote birthday cards to every single client. He said that if he left a house and the family was in a better financial situation than when he arrived that he was a success.

Despite the circumstances, he always looks on the bright side. Even though I became a quadriplegic at age 16, he was always looking for solutions.

My father has all the attributes of a successful person. He is loyal, honest, faithful and loving. Despite the circumstances, he always looks on the bright side. Even though I became a quadriplegic at age 16, he was always looking for solutions. He never believed that I couldn’t achieve what I wanted in life and has always been there to support me and be my biggest cheerleader.

I attribute the fighter and the woman that I have become to my father and his example that he never preached, but set by his deeds and his words. This was fully brought to life in a letter that my siblings and I sent to his clients upon his retirement. He received hundreds of letters in response, with people praising him and thanking him for being a friend and an adviser and saying that they wouldn’t be happy in their life today if not for my father. He will be able to die in peace knowing that he made a difference. And in the end, that is what matters.

 

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