Remembering George S. Eisenberg – February 16, 1921 – August 5, 2014
For those of you who do not know me, I am Joe Janson, George’s son-in-law.
I ‘ve always felt fortunate to have known the man who has meant so much to so many. Over 23 years ago when we first met, George’s appearance was that of a running back; tall, cut and hands like bear paws. It was not what I expected of a man of 70 years. he smiled, reached out and shook my hand, and it dwarfed mine. I was amazed those same hands were capable of such extraordinary precision with a paintbrush and pencil.
Over the years, I came to realize that George was the personification of gentleness, kindness and strength.
He seemed most happy just sitting and admiring the activities around him, as long as he had his pencil set and could draw his favorite subject: FAMILY….people.
I will miss watching George transform a blank piece of paper into a cherished memory. His genius capturing the moment both on canvas, and conveyed in his verbal observations, were uncanny.
I will miss our discussions on politics, science, religion, and our common bond of shipboard life. George was well versed on just about everything, and I always gained new perspectives from him.
I will miss his jokes, albeit not necessarily funny to the rest of the family, he always made me laugh.
Example: George are you comfortable? I said when he was seated in the cockpit of our sailboat.
George Responded: I make a living!
I can’t tell you how many times I heard that one liner, and to this day it still makes me think of him.
I always watched in amazement the collection of diverse friends that would gather during a holiday or family event. I could just feel the bond and love between them. It’s an energy that was, and still is, awe inspiring.
Whether the topic was science, politics, religion or just daily life, George’s perspective made us re-consider our prior wedded convictions.
George was always the optimist. He sought the GOOD in people and never dwelled on their mistakes in life. He had a calming power about him, another gift I will always admire.
Those of you who knew George also knew that he was not a religious man in the formal sense, but extremely proud of his Jewish heritage. His faith came from his loyalty to his family, friends, and the human race.
His abundant love for his family was a constant. He always had time for his grandchildren and their friends. He would spend hours with Eric and Margot either on his lap at any given time, or sitting side by side conveying the basic principles of drawing.
His extraordinary and radiant admiration for his beloved Gabrielle was an example to me, and to any husband, of what true love looks like.
I knew I had been accepted by George when I appeared in a drawing, now transferred to a metal plaque on display in the USS Cassin Young DD793, a floating Naval museum in Boston. George depicted me bandaging a wounded WWII sailor. He made me look fitter and much younger than I was. I really appreciated that George!
I then came to find out from my wife Julie, that George did that with many of his portraits, always seeing beauty in everyone.
Bottom line…He would just make his subjects better.
George and I had a common bond, both being in a sea going service and sharing stories of shipboard life. Though I was in the Coast Guard, McHale’s Navy to George, he still considered me a part of the bretheren. Thank you George.
I think George would agree with these words, so I would like to close with a quote from Carl Sagan:
The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective… is precious. If a human disagrees, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another!
George enjoy the Cosmos! Love you more. Joe