Remembering Craig Jurney
at the Oshman Family JCC
on January 11, 2020 at 4:00
November 15, 1963 – November 20, 2019
I remember watching the Rockford Files with Dad. We’d sit next to each other on the big couch mostly in silence. He always thought it was a little bit cheesy, but he liked it because it reminded him of Los Angeles. I always liked looking over to the other side of the couch and seeing his genuine happiness, both for reliving his childhood memories and seeing me do the same. He took joy from seeing the happiness of others in every aspect of life.
We used to go to Giants games, and I remember one time he lifted me up when they scored. I thought it was super-weird, but I was happy for him. He did everything he could to help me enjoy the games. He’d always know the best food stand, and he’d always buy me my favorite garlic fries. When we were in that stadium, no matter what had happened before that day, even if he’d had a bad day at work or something, he’d be all game talk.
I remember he’d come into our playroom to grab the mini step stool to go out and fill the bird feeders. He loved those birds. It was his passion and he’d stare out the windows at them like one might stare at a fish tank. I’d sometimes tell him about some of the funny things the birds would do on the bird feeders, and he’d enjoy that.
When we’d be watching the archaeology TV show Time Team, he’d sometimes go to his bookshelf and find a book and tell me all about the place that they were digging up. He made it feel like we were both discovering this knowledge for the first time even though he had read the book multiple times. He had a book for everything.
Dad always had his nose in some kind of book or manuscript collection. All the time he’d tell me about what he was reading. He was always reading as if he were going to take a test the next week on the entire encyclopedia.
Dad had lots of hats – from fedoras to baseball caps. Now when I see them on the coat rack it makes me think of him. When we’d be travelling, he’d see a hat and he’d just have to have it.
Dad took us to London, Paris, and Rome last summer. We could feel his excitement because he wanted to show us the London he loved. We went to Hampton Court where Henry the 8th lived and died. He ran us around the whole thing pointing and explaining like a guide because he knew so much about everything. He never dwelled on himself or his own experiences; instead he always put making our trip as good as possible over himself.
When we were in Rome, Dad knew that I was interested in Rome so he would always challenge me and ask me questions. If I didn’t know the answer, he’d help me. He originally wasn’t going to have us stay in Rome for very long, but he knew I was really interested in it so we stayed longer. In Rome, we always stopped at every gelato place. Dad made sure we’d have all the water and food we needed on our path.
I don’t know if I did enough for Dad, but I know certainly he did enough for me. His selflessness, although tested, would never fail. And I couldn’t imagine a better dad. He was the smartest person I knew, and he challenged me on everything we would do.
I love you, Dad. The things you did for me will stick with me until my death. The knowledge you gave will carry me through life. The knowledge you had yet to give will haunt me. I cannot lie by saying that I’m satisfied, but I have to carry on with what I have. I will never forget you.