Jack Wiener

Day and Time of Service: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 11:00 a.m.
Location of Service: Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge, N.J..
Interment: Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge, N.J.

Click here to sign the electronic guest book.

Jack Wiener died on Monday, February 20, 2012.  He lived in Columbus, N.J. (Mansfield Township) and was formerly of Matawan. Beloved husband of Renee Wiener (nee Lichtenstein), devoted father of Susan Wohl of North Potomac, MD., Stephen Wiener of Scotch Plains, N.J. and Richard Wiener of Millstone Township, N.J..  Loving grandfather of Alyssa, Kenneth, Joshua and Jonathan.

Mr. Wiener was a Supervising Agent for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  He was a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award from the I.R.S. and had been known as a tough but fair examiner.

He was born in Brooklyn, lived in the Bronx and Matawan for over 20 years before moving to Columbus over 20 years ago.  He attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. 

Donations in his memory may be made to either Good Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Drive, ste. 300, Marlton, NJ 08053 or Hadassah.  .

The following is the eulogy offered by Jack Wiener's son, Stephen, at Jack Wiener's funeral:

Thank you for coming out to honor my father and to support me and my family. Jack Wiener
was a wonderful dad and a terrific grandfather, and losing him is incredibly painful for our
family. But we take comfort from the fact that he passed the way he wanted to, at home with
his family. And we are very grateful to have had him in our lives. My sister, brother, and I just
wanted tell you a little bit about the person he was, so you understand how what a great guy
he was.

He had a great sense of humor, and he loved his family very much. My father loved to joke
around. His life was not easy sometimes – I can remember times when him having to work
two jobs to make ends meet. This was certainly hard, but throughout it all, he never stopped
laughing, and at least to us, seemed to always enjoy life no matter how tough it was. And he
was always loving and caring. He showed us, by his example, how to be strong and gentle at
the same time. What a great lesson that was for us.

I want to share with you a story that shows his sense of humor. One day, when I was about 5
or so years old, my dad took me to the doctor to get a shot. My mom usually took us, but for
some reason my dad took me this one time. Anyway, when it was time for the shot, he looked
at me and said to look at him, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. The doctor started preparing for the
shot, but my dad continued “Don’t look at the doctor. Just look at me. Don’t even think about
the OH MY GOSH LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT NEEDLE”. I was at first shocked, then I laughed,
and I got the shot before I even realized it. And it worked! I didn’t feel the shot at all. This was
maybe not the conventional way of comforting a kid, but it was his way – just make a joke out
of it, and find a way to laugh about it. By the way, he always denied that this ever happened,
and it was many years ago so maybe my memory isn’t quite correct. But this really was the
kind of thing he would do.

He enjoyed practical jokes, too. One day when he was riding the elevator up to his office, he
turned to the guy next to him and said “I don’t like your tie”. The other guy, naturally, said “I
don’t care if you don’t like my tie.” My dad said “No, it’s really ugly. I hate it”. The other guy
started getting upset and said “My wife got me this tie. I like it”. My dad got angrier, and
said “Your wife has terrible taste. That tie is ugly”. The other guy said “what’s it to you?” My
dad said “It offends me that you are wearing such an ugly tie.” The other guy said “oh yeah,
what are you going to do about it?” My dad whipped out a pair of scissors and cut the guy’s tie.
Needless to say, at the next floor, everyone got out, except my dad and this other guy. That
other guy, by the way, was my dad’s friend Tony, and this whole incident was pre-arranged so
dad and Tony would have a laugh at work, plus have their own private elevator.

He kept his sense of humor, even after he got do sick. When the hospice nurse first visited him
and wanted to check his vital signs, she asked if it was ok if she took his blood pressure. He
responded, with an absolutely straight face, no. She was taken aback and didn't know how to

handle that. He looked her straight in the eyes and explained that he didn't want her to take his
blood pressure because he needed it!"

He would joke with his family. A lot. But he could get away with it because we all knew how
much he loved us, and how much we loved him. He was pretty good at teasing the people he
loved. When my older boy Joshua was just born, maybe around the time of his bris, my dad
came up to me and told me what a great job I did creating Josh, and what a great kid he is, and
thanking me for giving him such a wonderful grandson. Needless to say, my wife Marcia got a
little irritated at this, and said what about her? Shouldn’t dad be thanking her, since she had a
lot to do with Josh’s birth, too? My dad looked at her and said “Marcia, when a chef creates a
great meal, you don’t thank the oven”. He knew this would get to her, and he could get away
with it because he loved her and she loved him.

Another example - In the few days before my sister Susan was to marry Stuart, my dad would
call Stu about every hour or two, and say “Do you really want to go through with this? You
know, you can back out now. It’s not too late. No hard feelings if you want to leave. But once
you marry her, she’s yours and I’m not taking her back.” This wasn’t my dad being serious
about letting Stu back out; rather, it was more about how my dad loved Stu as a son and not
just as a son in law.

Another story – my dad wore hearing aids later in life. Well, one day he was in a store
and saw the price of the hearing aid batteries was high. He called over a sales associate,
and said “why are these hearing aid batteries so expensive? I can get them much cheaper
elsewhere.” The sales associate said “this is what they cost, I don’t set the price”. My dad
said “This is expensive. I want to talk to a manager”. The department manager came over.
My dad said “why are these hearing aid batteries so expensive? I can get them much cheaper
elsewhere.” The department manager said “this is what they cost, I don’t set the price”. MY
dad kept complaining, and they got the store manager. Anyway, after about an hour or two, the
store manager said “OK I give up. We can’t spend any more time on this. You can buy them at
half price”. My dad said “Oh, I don’t want to by hearing aid batteries. I just wanted to know
why they were so expensive.”

Even though he joked around a lot, he was always there for us when we needed him. If any
of us ever had a question or a problem, he would find the answer. And if he didn’t know the
answer right away, he would do whatever research he needed to do to get the answer. If we
had a question about a problem with a car, for example, and he didn’t know the answer off the
top of his head, which was a rare occurrence, he would call his mechanic. And we didn’t even
have to ask. I remember one time in passing I told him that Marcia and I needed to buy a new
appliance, I don’t remember exactly what it was, and the next day I had the consumer reports
issue on that particular appliance, with the key information highlighted. He had visited about

4 or 5 stores, speaking with sales folks and getting information and comparing prices. I didn’t
ask him for this, but the fact that we were buying it was all he needed to know to spend hours
doing research for us. And this is just one example.

There was nothing he would not do for us. When his grandson Kenny was little he loved the
Power Rangers. So, my dad spent a lot of time and effort to get Kenny tapes of all the power
ranger episodes. All he needed to know was that Kenny liked the power rangers, and he would
put whatever effort he needed to and spend whatever money he needed to, to get Kenny those
episodes. And it wasn’t just his immediate family, either. Marcia’s sister Dana’s daughters liked
the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, but because they lived in St. Maarten they weren’t
able to get tapes or other items. My father heard about this, and sent a whole lot of tapes
and things to Marcia’s sister Dana. All he needed to know was that Marcia’s sister needed
something for her kids, and he was on the job. When my brother Rich bought a new Lexus,
which he treated with kid gloves, my dad got him a set of gold ramps that he labeled Lexus
only, so he could change the oil without using the regular ramps the rest of us used.

My father was very proud of his children, and especially his grandchildren. Alyssa and Kenny
and Josh and Jon meant the world to him. He loved them all very much. As my sister likes
to say, there is no doubt that if one of his grandchildren were to scribble on the wall, instead
of getting angry like most parents and grandparents would, my dad would have bought a
frame and hung it on the wall around the artwork, and bragged about the artistic talent of his

In his last few days, when it took all his effort to open his eyes, I brought my son Josh to visit.
Josh said “Hi grandpa. It’s me, Josh, I came to visit”. And for the first time in a while, my dad
opened his eyes, smiled, and waved. It seemed like he got renewed strength, all because he
heard his grandson’s voice.

Penina Schramm tells a story about a mother bird who was migrating to warmer lands. She had
three fledglings that were too small to fly such a great distance, so she flew them on her back.
She loved her children, and would do anything in the world for them. At first the flight was
pretty easy for the mother bird, but after a few days the little birds began to feel heavier and
heavier. They were over a large sea, and the mother bird said to the bird in front “My child,
when I am old and have no strength to fly across this sea, will you take me on your back as I am
taking you?” The bird answered “No, mama”. The mother bird said “What? You disregard the
mitzvah of respect for your parent!” She turned to the second bird and said “My child, when I
am old and have no strength to fly across this sea, will you take me on your back as I am taking
you?” The baby bird said NO, at which point the mother bird got angry and said, “What? You
disregard the mitzvah of respect for your parent!” She then said to the third bird, “My child,
when I am old and have no strength to fly across this sea, will you take me on your back as I am

taking you?” The bird answered, I can’t promise to do that, because I may be busy flying my
own children on my back, the way you are doing for me.” With that, the mother bird laughed
and continued on the journey.

It is the Jewish way to honor one’s parents, including revering the memory of a parent even
after the parent has passed away. I think the way to honor my father is to remember to laugh
at life and not take ourselves too seriously, and to always love and take care of each other. If
we can do this, my dad’s legacy is preserved, and his memory will live on.