Lewis Weinstein died today at Paoli Hospital, outside of Philadelphia—the victim of a massive heart attack this past Saturday that deprived his brain of oxygen. He was 56 years old, and he was my cousin and friend. He was the second cousin from my generation of the Moliver Family to pass away, but the first in a long time.
Lew had swagger. From the time he was young, he was a presence, carrying himself with confidence and inner strength. He marched to his own drummer, bringing us along the many phases on his journey through adulthood. His smile was almost as wide as his broad shoulders, and his sarcastic humor always hit the mark.
It was at Lew’s bar mitzvah where I first met Joni, and it was he who later re-introduced us, at 15, at the urging of Edie and Molly. Joni knew Lew since kindergarten, and for most of her young life, he was her protector, champion, and best friend. When she tells stories of her childhood, they inevitably include him. One such story occurred in 6th grade, when Joni ran for the presidency of her elementary school; Lew was her campaign manager, and to this day, she believes she won that election primarily because of her classmates’ support for him. “When Lewis was near,” Joni has said, “I always felt safe.”
As the years went on, and we all went about the tasks involved with raising children, Lew was not always an everyday part of our lives, but he was in our thoughts. During the past year, Joni and I had the chance to really reconnect with our cousin through lengthy conversations on the phone and at family events. I was glad he joined the Moliver fantasy football league last year, because it gave us a chance to communicate on a weekly basis. He added a positive energy and humor to each week, and this year, we will rename it the L.W. Moliver Family league.
Rachel, Saul, and Kevin should be very proud of their father, and they should know that we were all positively affected by his life. That will continue in his memory.
Goodbye Lewis…you will always live on within us.