Martin Silverberg 1955-2010
With great sorrow, we now know our dear friend Marty Silverberg passed away yesterday. Several months ago he was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 metastic carcinoma. He suffered cardiac arrest yesterday. I was going to wait for a memorial page to be set up on the Far Rock website, but since so many are 'coming unglued,' please feel free share this with everyone. I will speak of Marty now and have some special pictures that were taken about a week ago on my Facebook profile pictures when we went on our final boat cruise together:
It is difficult to share the greatness, true charisma and remarkable character of our dear departed lifelong childhood pal Marty Silverberg. I probably was closest with him the longest, frequently having lunch at his house when we were seven years old in 1st grade at P.S. 42. Marty was one of those rare human beings who exuded charisma, energy and zest for life. He also reinvented himself repeatedly, going from parks department pooppicker on the beach, to lifeguard, talent/model agency owner, Jack Lalanne salesman, lifeguard, Far Rock swim team captain and city champ, mortgage broker/banker and later in life even winning a body building contest and a remarkable Elvis impersonator singer, with the moves, look and voice of the icon legend.
Marty was one of the most loyal, giving and generous of people, housing childhood friends who fell on bad times, and even entire extended families following Hurricane Katrina. But of all the amazing aspects of who, and what kind of man he was, what made me most proud to have him as my lifelong pal, was how he handled this final challenge. Despite being faced with horrific potential outcomes, he kept his sense of humor, positive attitude and love of his family and friends before himself. I was with him and his wife Tracey when the diagnosis/prognosis was presented by the oncologist and Marty even joked with the doctor about it.
I was honored, and so lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with him these last few months of his life. We would joke about all my overseas business associates who were pissed at him since I cancelled so many overseas trips, as I was not leaving his side until a treatment plan was in place that would give him a shot at winning this. His attitude was always, always positive to beat this, and he even started a blog to turn into a future potential book that he would tell others how to beat cancer...ever the optimist, entrepreneur, class act.
Just briefly before his passing, we childhood pals went on our annual boat cruise together (Perris Calderon, Mike Crohn, Joey Schultz, and other cruises (Bobby Bram and Steven Schussler), and it was one of the most special weekends of our lives, as we knew in the back of our minds it could be the last time we would experience this together. We toasted our deceased pal Leslie Cohen (who died a few days following the last Far Rock reunion), as has become our tradition and told Marty he has to join us for at least 30 more annual cruises. This, unfortunately, was not in the cards.
Marty was a lucky guy for so many reasons, and the one thing we all always agreed upon is his remarkable wife Tracey. He met the perfect woman and she is a truly astounding person. He met her when she was just 18 years old. Aside from being a 6 Star cook and devoted mother, she went on to become a published book author and karate black belt. Tracey took on everything and anything to help him throughout their lifetime together...especially in face of this final challenge. Marty was also blessed with amazing kids - Laura, Max and Sam...talented dentist sisters Abby and Lisa, and the ever vibrant mother Dorothy, who even in her mid 80s can still dance circles around anyone 50 years her junior.
To have had someone like Marty as a lifelong close friend has been an honor, pleasure, gift, and blessing, and we honor him by trying to be better people, give of ourselves unselfishly and help others, and keep our positive attitude and sense of humor in even the most dire of times. we will all miss him greatly
Rob Goldman '72
(For more tributes to Marty, please visit the 1973 FRHS Memorial page and find Martin's plaque, then click it go see his tributes.)
Michael Crohn, Joey Schultz. Perris Calderon, Marty Silverberg, Bob Goldman
Marty Silverberg, Perris Calderon, Michael Crohn, Bob Goldman
Joey Schultz, Michael Crohn, Marty Silverberg, Perris Calderon, Bob Goldman
Perris Calderon, Marty Silverberg, Joey Schultz, Bob Goldman
Perris Calderon, Marty Silverberg, Joey Schultz, Bob Goldman
Bob Goldman, Joey Schultz, Michael Crohn, Perris Calderon, Marty Silverberg
Joey Schultz, Michael Crohn, Perris Calderon, Bob Goldman, Marty Silverberg
Joey Schultz, Michael Crohn, Marty Silverberg, Bob Goldman
Michael Crohn, Perris Calderon, Marty Silverberg, Bob Goldman
Michael Crohn, Bob Goldman, Perris Calderon, Bob Bram, Marty's cousin Arnie
Bob Goldman, Perris Calderon, Joey Schultz, Bob Bram, Michael Crohn, Marty's cousin Arnie
After Memorial at Marty Silverberg's Home
Far Left: Marty's daughter Laura Center against door: Marty's son Max,
Next left: Tracey's Mom, Bob Goldman
Marty's son Sam, Tracey, Marty's son Max, Marty's daughter Laura & her husband
Marty's son Sam, Tracey, Marty's son Max, Marty's daughter Laura & her husband.
Right: Bob Goldman
Class of 1972 35th year reunion (with lots of 1973 alums)
Bob Goldman, Perris Calderon, Marty Silverberg, Michael Crohn
Bob Goldman, Marty Silverberg, Perris Calderon, Bob Bram, Steve Schussler
Bob Goldman, Perris Calderon, Joey Schultz, Michael Crohn, Marty Silverberg, Bob Bram
Marty Silverberg, Bob Goldman, Perris Calderon, Joey Schultz, Michael Crohn, Bob Bram
The following is from Dr. Robert Goldman, whose first letter is at the top of this tribute. This was written following the memorial.
The Memorial/Funeral service for our special lifelong, dear friend, Marty Silverberg, was as remarkable as his charmed life. First spoke sister Lisa, with such presence and poise, she stunned all,,,then eldest son Max, reciting a poem that reminded us of the courage and inner strength of Marty, followed by words from his childhood pals. We all went up together... his childhood 'Ratpack' guy gang-Perris Calderson, Bobby Bram, Michael Crohn, Joey Schultz and myself) to deliver the final words at the funeral ceremony.
Note, that I have only attended two funerals in the last 30+ years, thus have turned down the Heads of State, government and global business leaders, and Hollywood crowd,...but not my best buddy Marty. I would have traveled from the farthest part of globe to be here for him. Of all his childhood pals, I knew him the longest... since age seven in first grade, and we would frequently have lunch at house, since I lived in the Nordic Project apartments, and going to an actual house was such a treat, especially with momma Dorothy at the helm.
I have made some good choices in life, but the best two were stopping all international travel/business activities and spending last few months with Marty, and forcing the gang to go on the boat cruise a few weeks ago before he passed...and these will forever be the most treasured times. At the funeral service, we all dressed in the same clothes we wore on the boat cruise a few weeks prior, as Marty felt so good, smiled and laughed so much that final trip.
Marty was the most talented of us all, and had this magic star quality he exuded, and everyone considered him their best friend. He was always the leader, front and center in all our activities, and we happy to be back up singers/background for his star persona. In fact when he would do his 'Elvis', my job was to hold up his collar from behind, so all you would see were my fingertips.
As high school swim team captain, how many guys wore Elvis cool sunglasses at an indoor pool and took off only before his race, as he waved to a delighted crowd. people were drawn to him, and wanted to be like him. He was a remarkable person of staggering charisma, caring, friendship, leadership, enormous modesty and humanity.
Marty reinvented himself repeatedly as high school sports star team swimming captain, lifeguard, beach picker, Jack Lalanne health club salesman, owner/creator of a talent/model agency, mortgage broker/banker, winning his first body building competition at age 50, even professional Elvis impersonator/singer performer at the end of his life.
He was always so generous to others, housing and feeding childhood friends down on their luck and entire extended families left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. And he was the luckiest of guys, finding the perfect girl for him in Tracey when she was just 18 yrs old,.... 6 star chef, book author, 4th degree karate black belt and devoted mom. The one thing all the guys agreed on-she is top shelf and the perfect woman for him. they completed each other. ever modest, he would always say-"how did I get so lucky to find her."
He fathered remarkable children in Laura, Max and Sam, and one can see the talents of him and Tracey in them all. His doctor sisters Lisa and Abby, who could have been professional dancers if they wished....super charged mother Dorothy, who can still out-dance anyone 50 years her junior.
But I was never so proud of Marty, as to how he handled this final challenge. Marty kept his sense of humor and positive attitude to beat this, and even started a blog to turn into a book so he could help others, on how to beat cancer....ever the entrepreneur, optimist caring human being.
His concern for others never stopped, and he was not afraid to die, just afraid for the well being of his family and friends. Marty always worried about others, and was always surprised when people revered and looked up to him, being so modest and humble. The truly remarkable thing about this funeral, is that Marty empowered everyone to be better, appreciate life and be happy. it is astounding the positive life impact this unfortunate loss has had on those close to him, and how different they now view life.
Immediately following the funeral, an army of over 60 people went back to his home to cheer on the New Orleans Saints for the Superbowl...an event he wanted us all to go to, but we had already left Florida.... and his last words to us each were, "Come on guys...come to my house for the party." well he got his wish, and his team, the Saints won, despite being massive underdogs, The Saints were his favorite team, because wife Tracey is from New Orleans, playing for the first time in history in the Superbowl. When they won, everyone was screaming Marty's name, as only he could have made this happen.
In honor of Marty, I am setting up college fund for his sons Max and Sam to start immediately to assist them in college and graduate school pursuits, to go to $50,000 over the course of their education, if they choose to pursue advanced education. I am no longer Rob, but now 'Uncle Rob' to them going forward. The pics enclosed are from the trip we all took together a few weeks before his passing, pics from the past, and those at the SuperBowl party at his house immediately following the funeral. Note that at the end of the funeral, they played a CD of Marty singing an Elvis song....how many can have a funeral day like him...closing a funeral singing Elvis, and facilitating a team with no chance in a SuperBowl, to a resounding victory, and getting everyone he cared about, flying in from all over the country, to be with his family...at his house, on his TV, watching his favorite team win!
We honor and celebrate Marty, by trying to be better people, appreciate those around us, and tell them often how special they are, and keep a sense of humor, humility and modesty about ourselves, wonderment of the world, and of life, and positive attitude despite the obstacles. Our lives have been enriched by him, and I am honored, proud and blessed to have had this amazing person in my life for 47 years. He is someone we should all aspire to be like. We celebrate the true greatness and remarkable human spirit of Marty Silverberg
Rob Goldman '72
Robert M. Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP
Chairman of the Board-A4M
World Chairman-International Medical Commission
Chairman-World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
President Emeritus-National Academy of Sports Medicine
This is the text of sister Lisa Silverberg's memorial to her brother Marty:
Marty was in my life longer than anyone in this room except, of course, for my mom. Marty was my little brother. But in reality he was my "little " brother for only a very short time, because at a very young age, I began to ask him for advice, seek his help, and ask his opinion. At a very early age, especially after our dad died, Marty became the man in the family, our rock, our glue, our inspiration. He maintained that role until the day he passed. Even after his diagnosis he was the strong one, he took the reins, made independent decisions, and guided us gently and confidently through those weeks. He cared more about us and how we would take this, than himself. Only a few weeks ago, on one of our long walks together on the beach, Marty said to me,
"Leece, I am not afraid to die. I have absolutely no regrets. I have lived every day to the fullest, done everything the way I wanted, I wanted to and did it MY WAY. I have had the love of a great woman, I have loved her with all my heart, I have three wonderful children who I have loved and enjoyed, I have had great friends who I adore, and the greatest family. I have been blessed more than most people and I am not afraid. I only don't want to disappoint my wife, my children, and my friends and family. I don't want anyone to fall apart without me. But I am not afraid to die." I hugged him and kissed him and told him that we would be OK, and if we live his principles, we will be.
I have a lifetime of memories, our childhood in Rockaway, the short hot summers on the beach, riding the waves together, the weekends at Capri, the fireworks, the Takee cups, Jerry's knishes, fishing on Daddy's boat, catching the mackerel, learning how to water ski
in the ocean, the time I came up on the boat at 16 and Marty was 13, and the top of my bikini fell off, (he never let me forget that); Playland, the swings, stickball in the back yard, singing songs around the piano, dancing in the living room...it goes on and on. Family togetherness was the most important thing to Marty, and we had that growing up. It was Marty's dream to recreate that here in South Florida. And he did that. One by one everyone he loved moved down here. There was a party every week where the family and friends celebrated life. I am so fortunate to have been able to move down here a few years ago so I could join you all and experience these wonderful times.
In these last few weeks many of us were blessed to spend a lot of time with my brother. He knew how much we loved and adored him, and we knew how much he loved us. This brought him much comfort, and it brought us much comfort as well. I am so glad we had that time together.
Marty brought many blessings to all of us...he showed us through example how to live life...counting your blessings everyday, giving and showing love, always giving and never asking for anything. Marty was never wavering in his positive outlook; the cup was always full, the sun always shining, the love always flowing, the laughter always ringing, the song always singing, the the feet always dancing.
He brought us so many blessings...but the biggest blessing he brought my family is Tracey. When he brought this magnificent light into our lives, we became illuminated. Their three fabulous children, my niece Laura, and nephews Max and Sam, are his and Tracey's greatest achievement, the products of their infinitely glorious love. Marty, I am eternally grateful for bringing us Tracey and her New Orleans family, and Trace, we will be here for you ALWAYS.
My beautiful, handsome, kind, dear, talented brother, I miss you so much ...I still can't believe you are gone. I see your smiling face in front of me and hear your happy voice saying Leece, Sis..how you doing?
Marty, you will always be an inspiration to us. Your joi de vivre, your humor, your generous nature. I don't think we could have borne your suffering...it was a blessing that if you had to be taken that it was while you were still vibrant and strong, still the leader of your destiny, and the leader of the family. Marty the last words you said to me was, see you at my Super Bowl Party on Sunday...and I said, who's playing? And you said The Saints, you idiot!!!! So those were the last words my brother said to me, and I am so happy to have been called an idiot!
Marty, I pledge to you, my dear brother, that I will follow your principles and your example. I will live life to the fullest, I will laugh and love and be thankful for every moment, I will always be a giver, I will look on the bright side, I will ride in every wave, I will sing every song, I will cherish my family, give up the bullshit and continue to eat pretzels and popcorn every day. Marty, I love you so much. Please rest in peace and take comfort in our love.
ELVIS HAS NOT LEFT THE HOUSE.........LONG LIVE THE KING !!!!!!!
The following words were collected by Ali Berman, al starting with the letter 'M' to describe marty from those that knew him:
mover and shaker
my lifelong pal
a real man
an honest man
an inspiring man
a family man
a mother’s son
a wife’s mate
a male sibling
a child magnet
The following was received from Lois Mark Saiani, Marty's classmate, and is also posted on the Memories page:
Friends and loved ones,
Some of you have asked where you can make donations to. The information is as follows:
Broward Partnership for the Homeless
920 NW 7th Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FK 33311
680 Ipswich Street
Boca Raton, FL 33487
Att: Darlene Torres
The funeral service was amazing. There was not an empty seat in the house. Marty's sister Lisa gave an awesome eulogy of her brother. His five comrades Bobby, Rob, Michael, Perris and Joey got up and did a "shtick" in his name. Each of them shared some wonderful memories. My favorite one was Bobby's memory of high school. One day when Marty was done swimming, Bobby and the other football players were walking by and Marty asked Bobby about the innings in the game. Did I get that right, Bobby? Anyway, there was much love and laughter there. I'm attaching the picture of the guys at the bottom.
Then Marty's teenage son Max got up and shared his dad's favorite poem "Invictus." After that an Elvis song sung by Marty was played, which was very tender and sweet, yet haunting as well. At that point there really wasn't a dry eye there and when the song ended we were all clapping and callinghis name.That's when I really realized that he was gone. Damn!!! That was difficult!!! Then his nieces and nephew stood up and sang a Hebrew song in his honor.
Rockaway was represented not only by his "brothers," but also by Louie Echevarria and his wife Erika, Leslie Slaff, Carol Selbst, Joel and Jody Leshinsky, and myself. I was blessed to be sitting amongst his best friends holding hands and comforting one another. Thank you guys for letting me in. I watched these men holding each other's hands and loving on each other. Where else could these bonds be created? It truly was amazing.
After that we all went to Marty's house and it was very strange for me to be there without him. To be sitting on the same patio that I sat on the last time I was there...only then Marty was sitting next to me. Everything was the same and yet so different without him there.
Thanks and love to all...
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