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GOODBYE UNCLE LENNIE


LENNIE_0004 He wasn’t our uncle; he wasn’t even related except by choice. For over 65 years he was our “big brother”, wise advisor, lawyer and well-loved friend. The only photos I could find among the many taken during the years of our friendship, had someone’s arm around him, so I’m including this one. He was “Uncle” Lennie to many people for his wisdom and good humor, especially to us and our family.

He loved kids, and as his grandchildren began arriving, he took them all for a day of fun every Saturday. When our own grandchildren arrived, my husband’s first remark was to say he wanted to be the same kind of grandfather as Lennie. I think he has been.

For thirty years he gave his own all-male birthday party at Scott’s, a prominent Oakland restaurant, to which over 100 guests came, entertained and were entertained with jokes and hi-jinks. He was fond of saying that women were also invited as long as they would jump out of the birthday cake naked! To my knowledge that never happened. He always arrived at the party in a limo wearing a tophat and his red clown nose and a big bow tie.

Lennie was a joke-teller supreme. He told jokes to his grandkids, to the postman, the waiters, and to anyone who would listen. The coming of the internet with its joke-sharing gave him constant new material. His penchant for crazy hats and a red clown nose added to the fun. At one memorable party he brought the mascot mule for the Oakland A’s and at another, the cast of the musical “Chicago” came to liven things up. Red clown noses were passed out at his funeral which he would have approved.

He was a CPA, and at the age of 44 he went to Law School and became an attorney as well. Besides that, he became Probate Referee for the County of Alameda for many years. His loyalty to the University of California was legendary, and he loved the Cal football team, win or lose.

He was a good athlete, including tennis and raquetball, and loved golfing, was a member and also the president of the prestigious Sequoya Country Club. Upon his death, the flag was lowered to half-mast in respect to a man loved not only by fellow members, but by the bar and wait staff as well.

Most of all, he was our dear friend, and we will miss him. He always used to say, “Just because they don’t call you, you call them. The phone works both ways. Remember, you’re a long time dead.” Lennie Gross, your 94 years went all too soon.

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8 comments on “GOODBYE UNCLE LENNIE

  1. Thanks Mom. That was beautifully written and Jan and I will always remember “Uncle Lennie” and be grateful for the memories.

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  2. ohhhh Kayti.. this is such a fine tribute to a fine man..It seems that his name is
    so familiar to me..I’m wondering if Bob’s mom might have known him..or Bobs dad years ago..your Uncle Lennie was very much a Bay Area man..and loved Cal the way we all did and do..haha..
    Anyway, thank you.
    xoxo
    me

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  3. Hi Kayti: I just posted on this below..just wanted to say Happy New Year to you and Sam. I’m not writing much right now..cuz of my fingers..must doo something about this besides complain..haha. But please know that I have read and re-read all of your  last several blogs..enjoy them so much but just don’t “post comment” ..know you understand and will be back before I know it..haha..Hoping you guys are well and cozy warm and had a deliteful holiday season..I’m really glad to be starting a  “normal” week next week though..hah! Keep well. Thinking of you both always, me xo

    ________________________________

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  4. Beautiful, loving tribute. What a lovely man.

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  5. Thanks for letting us know that the famous Lennie Gross has passed away.
    Now Dr. Advice, in dispensing it, will have to say, “Now listen Kayti, Lennie always said, ‘Wait awhile, wait awhile…’ “.

    He will be missed by us all and Scott’s Seafood Restaurant has lost a mighty wind.

    Well written. You have captured Lennie’s essence.

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  6. Dear Katie, What a lovely tribute to my Dad. You and Sam and my parents go way back so you knew him well and therefore captured his joyful spirit. We were lucky to be able to enjoy him for 94 years! He was loved by many and gave a lot of love in return. You are right. . .he was an exceptional Grandfather. When I think of him I picture his smile that adorable twinkle in his eye. He is missed by his family and friends.

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