This eulogy was shared by Madeline Gershwin, wife of Warren Gershwin, at a memorial service celebrating his life on February 14, 2019.
On Tuesday morning February 12th my beloved husband shed his frail and battered body to return to The Source of all life. His health had been declining for the past year and he had just been released from the hospital the previous Friday after a 10-day stay. Warren Gershwin the physician had never been a patient and, like many doctors, he wasn’t an easy patient. He had always been strong and resilient and it was very hard for him to need so much help with the activities of daily life.
I want to tell you a little about this extraordinary ordinary man who was and is the love of my life for 55 years. He was brilliant, witty, funny, quirky. He had many of what our children called his “enthusiasms” - a passionate interest in diverse things from cacti and succulents, to Biblical archaeology, astronomy to building medieval weapons like trebuchets, ancient history to philosophy and logic and always the sacred texts of different traditions. He was deeply spiritual and believed that we are all connected, that we all derive from one Source and that there is only one source, Adonai Echad. He was the most ethical person I’ve ever known and was admired and respected for his absolute integrity.
He was a devoted physician - a psychiatrist who respected his patients no matter how troubled or difficult they were, and he was beloved by them and by the colleagues who worked most closely with him. His work with combat veterans was the most important and fulfilling of his career, and his vets considered him one of their own. He was not impressed by titles, status or power. He was only impressed by character. Although when I first met him I thought him just another arrogant first year resident, I quickly learned that far from being arrogant he was truly humble and open minded. The Warren Gershwin I knew was always kind, big hearted, and had a childlike awe at the wonders of God’s creation. In the last months of his life Warren frequently said, “I am a happy man and I’ve had a blessed life.”
He made me laugh and his sense of humor was legendary. He was a good friend, a wonderful father and grandfather and a great teacher and mentor. Most of all he was my beloved husband. He loved me with all his heart and his love made me whole. He trusted me almost as much as he trusted himself, he had confidence in me, he believed in me and everything I have accomplished in my life, every patient and student I have ever helped, every good I have ever done is because I was so loved by this man, and his great love brought out the best in me.