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Tribute to Dr. David Magazine. July 26, 1943 – March 22, 2023

March 24, 2023

David Magazine with “Aunt Thelma”Magazine (Uncle Willie’s wife) Passover, April, 1956, in the basement of our home in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

My cousin David died a few days ago. I was in the hospital at the time and the news was kept from me until today. In the hospital I was thinking of calling him from my bed – not for medical advice – but simply to say hello and make him laugh in an effort to cheer him up and take my mind off of my own situation. Was thinking of trying again today or tomorrow as I regain my strength. Too late.

With his death goes the last of my older Magazine cousins. Joan Stroeber, Joel Magazine, Judy Decidue and now David. We all shared common grandparents – Julius and Sarah Magaziner – now resting in peace in a Flushing, NY mega-cemetery. Julius died in 1924. He used to take a shot of prohibition-era alcohol to brace himself for a hard days work as a Brooklyn,  New York construction worker. A swallow of one those killed him. He had also worked in steel mills in Buffalo, NY and other cities. Julius left Grodno in 1904 to escape 20 years of service in the Russian military from which he had gone AWOL. During his time in the Russian service he had been billetted in the home of a Bialystok, Poland rabbi, a Rabbi Wyzinski (spelled at least ten different ways), a maternal great-grand-father. And there Julius Magaziner fell in love – was smitten so the story goes – with the rabbi’s daughter, Sarah Wyzinski. Grand father Julius left secretly for the United States arriving at Ellis Island like so many millions before and arrived precisely on November 29, 1904 on the SS Statendam from Rotterdam. His papers mention that he was headed for the home of his sponsor, Uncle, Nacham Goldstein on East 99 St in Manhattan. Another sponsor, mentioned was a brother, Jossel.

I have detailed elsewhere (will post when I can find it) the life of Julius’ wife’s, our indomitable grandmother, Sarah Maraziner who raised the seven surviving children of her 14 births in a long one room apartment in the back of dry goods store on the corner of Avenue K and Nostrand Ave in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish Community. David’s father, my Uncle Joe, was somewhere in the middle of the pack. my Mom, Beatrice Magaziner, was the youngest. I know little about the other side of David’s family, the line that passed down to his mother, my Aunt Rae, other than that Aunt Rae was the daughter of an important Warsaw rabbi as I recall.

I mention all this both to share earlier family history and to note the rich, vibrant and deeply caring tradition of which David and I were, at the time, a part of … and still are.

No doubt, growing up he was my closet friend. Our parents made great efforts to connect us. There are many, many childhood memories we shared that will remain precious to me, one of which I will share. While staying over night with David at his family’s apartment on Montgomery St. in Brooklyn, I came down with chicken pox., I think I was seven or eight. I don’t remember if David knew what it was, but until my mother explained it me, I had no idea. All I knew were these pimple-like circles kept erupting all over my skin. David and I sat there with wonder as one after another, a new one appeared. It was like a race, which one of us could identify a new eruptions and we sat there noting the diseases progress with clinical interest – no fear whatsoever – until his mother, my Aunt Rae, aghast, put an end to our game and in something close to hysterics, called my Mom to take me home.

Of that pack of cousins he and I were a part of, no doubt, David was, by any measure, the brightest of the crew by far. I still have a memory of family gatherings at his apartment when at the age of 6 or 7 – no more – his Mom would press him to play malaguana on the piano. But David did not want to play malaguana and in protest he would sit – and literally – hold his breath until he turned blow at which point his father would smack him across the face (not to hard), his color would return to his cheeks and “in protest” he would sit down and play what to my ears was a magnificent version of that song. If they weren’t days of wine and roses for our extended family, they were, looking back across the last three quarters of a century, wonderful times to be a kid, to have such wonderful, caring cousins. And then, like with so many immigrant, extended families, it all started to fall apart. Most – no all – of my mothers brothers died of heart attacks, including Uncle Joe, David’s father. Those that remained tried to keep things together but it seemed that every family had its own problems (including mine). As my mother would say “Life, took over” or “You make a plan for life and then life makes a plan for you”.

He became a doctor, graduating from Meharry Medical School in Nashville, Tennessee and I know a very caring and competent one. We both married extraordinary women and although the worlds we married into were far apart, were essentially adapted into the families our our wives, his Carmen from Puerto Rico, mine, Nancy from rural eastern Nebraska. We went different ways not just geographically but politically and for years were somewhat estranged. Only later in life did we reconcile – I can’t speak for David – but looking back on it, I think that among the stupidest things I ever did was to let that fester too long. but I did. In later years we found each other, both more relaxed, both still wanting, no, that is not the right word – both needing to find one another again. My sisters, mother and Aut Mal helped a great deal with that.

And we did.

Good bye David.

A Song – singing my cousin David’s spirit home – Cliff Eberhardt with Richie Havens. The Long Road

“I can hear your voice in the wind” …

Uncle Joe and Aunt Rae, David’s parents. Passaover, April, 1956 in the basement of our home in Jamaica, Queens, New York

7 Comments leave one →
  1. margy stewart permalink
    March 24, 2023 3:35 pm

    Condolences to you and all the family. This is a wonderful account of what a precious thing an extended family can be. How wonderful that the adults made it a priority for cousins to grow up together–a gift for life.

  2. William Conklin permalink
    March 24, 2023 3:57 pm

    Very well written and thought-out for a fellow who just got out of the hospital himself.

  3. Phil Jones permalink
    March 24, 2023 4:06 pm

    Sorry for your loss, Bob. Glad you were able to re-establish contact with someone who had meant so much to you.

  4. William Watts permalink
    March 24, 2023 4:33 pm

    Very sorry for your loss. I really enjoyed reading about your family and their history.

  5. Joan Wexelbaum permalink
    March 24, 2023 5:24 pm


    I’m so sorry about David’s passing.  I don’t remember him, but I do remember Aunt Rae.  If I remember correctly she died much too young of stomach cancer.  


    div>I see Judy and Joan have died too.  I was about to say they were much too young too, but I fa

    • March 24, 2023 5:35 pm

      Joanie it’s hard to keep track of such things but thanks for trying
      Cousin Joel died an early death, in his thirties? His hurt had shrunk to the size of a walnut it is said. Joan died of old age a few years back, Judy as the results I’d a stroke from which she did not recover about five years back. David was 79 when he died. In my Mom’s side of the family to my knowledge not much cancer, more heart attacks and strokes

  6. John Dayton permalink
    March 30, 2023 8:24 am

    I am sorry to hear about your loss. I am sitting here in meditation over your words in memoriam, how important it is to not let differences wedge loved ones for too long.
    Thank you for the reminder this morning.


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