My stepfather died last week. It was his time to go, not unexpected. Still, it's hard to see such a rough ending to a good life. He wasn't perfect, but he was one of the most compassionate and humble men I've ever met. He had an aura around him that attracted people. He was never too busy to stop and listen, and give advice if asked. I heard of him in 6th grade, because he was one of the 7th grad teachers, the one everybody wanted to get. I was one of the lucky ones. If we'd never become family, I still would have remembered him. He had a way of bringing history to life, always engaging those around him. He became a community leader, not through big acts or ostentatious display, but by quiet example. He taught Sunday school, donated time and energy to helping the poor, headed non-profit organizations and raised his family. People came from as far away as Arizona and Washington for his funeral. There were several generations there, from his peers to students to grandchildren and their children. It feels strange that he's gone, because I'll always miss the warm welcome he gave when we saw each other. Irv Levine, RIP.