There has always been a file on my fathers computer “death and taxes.”
In it, were very specific instructions on what to do after he passed, which he did, peacefully and painlessly at age 89 in the Dayton VA Hospice this morning.
This is the obituary he wanted me to share.
Stephen G. Esrati, 89, a retired copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer and a prolific philatelic journalist, was among the first American hostages in Lebanon.
He also worked on the Boston Herald-Traveler, the Celina (Ohio) Daily Standard, the Van Wert Times-Bulletin, and the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Born in Berlin in 1927, Esrati moved to Palestine in 1933 and to the United States in 1937.
He had two degrees in political science from Boston University.
He served in Italy in the 88th U.S. Infantry Division after World War II and was recalled to active duty during the Korean war. He also served in the Irgun Zvai Leumi, a Jewish underground army in Palestine. He was active in the U.S. Army Reserve through 1960, last as a sergeant first class in the 320th Special Forces Group in Boston.
His experience in Special Forces formed part of the background for his first novel, Comrades, Avenge Us.
Esrati and 60 other men were removed from a U.S. passenger ship, The Marine Carp, in Beirut on the day after Israel declared its independence.
His non-philatelic writings appeared in newspapers in three continents. He was honored by induction into the Philatelic Writers’ Hall of Fame of the American Philatelic Society.
He died peacefully of old age August 18, 2016 in the Dayton VA Medical Center Hospice. He is survived by his wife, Nina B, and his son David.
He donated his body to the Wright State School of Medicine. There will be no services.
If you want to honor him, read the free book he wrote to me in 1969- “Dear Son” and leave a comment, or pick up a free copy of his historical fiction “Comrades Avenge Us” at my office, 100 Bonner St. Dayton Oh 45410- with the promise of writing an Amazon review when you finish it.
Update: 19 Aug 2016 Someone said they were listening to my StoryCorps interview of Dad. Here’s the link: https://esrati.com/storycorps-interview-of-stephen-g-esrati/4813