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Steve Jaffee, Husband of Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee

By Adam Lipson
Steve was much more than our assemblywoman’s husband. He was the kind of man that we hope our children will become. He was a great husband, father, grandfather, friend and citizen. I think the thing he valued most in the last five years were the grandkids. No conversation ended without Steve saying “I’m seeing my grandkids.”
Steve loved telling the story of how he met Ellen when they were only 14 years old. He told me the same story several times but I never stopped him because I loved hearing it over and over again.
Steve came from an era when “kindness” and “compassion” was valued. Steve was kind and compassionate….and everybody that knew Steve would say that about him. He could be critical, and yet any criticism was based on values that made all around him rise to the occasion.

Services for Steve Jaffee will be held on Friday, January 22 at 10:30a at the
The Reform Temple of Rockland
(formerly Temple Beth El)
415 Viola Road
Spring Valley, New York 10977
845.356.2000
The burial will be in Queens at the
Old Montefiore Cemetery
121-83 Springfield Blvd.
Springfield Gardens, Queens NY
Shiva will be held on Friday after the burial, Saturday after sundown and Sunday through Tuesday from 11a-4p and 7p-9p at 16 Lancaster Drive in Suffern, NY.
Donations in “Memory of Steve Jaffee” can be made to the following charities:
United Hospice of Rockland
Patient Airlift Services
Ramapo Midget Football League
P.O. Box 561
Spring Valley NY 10977

Steve was a Brooklyn kid who understood what it meant to be “a handshake guy.” Steve’s word was his contract. If he said he was going to do something, he would do it. He was a man of honor….without compromise.
One of the things that my wife Denise and I loved most about Steve is that he knew how to laugh. In his darkest moment, you could tell him something completely stupid that happened to you during the day and he would laugh. While he could be serious, he was never solemn.
Steve was also a great story teller. All of his stories started with “I was walking down the street in Brooklyn with my friends Howie and Murray.” I never knew if these were real people, but I loved listening to the way he told stories.
The most salient characteristic about Steve is that he loved Ellen.
Anybody that knew Steve, knew that he knew that Ellen was his better half. I suspect that Ellen knew that Steve was really the better half.
There is a great picture of Steve and Ellen that I took when Denise and I joined Steve and Ellen at a Crosby, Stills & Nash concert in Bethel, NY a couple of years ago. When I look at that photo, I knew for certain that they were in love. Denise always says that “the most important decision you make in your life is who you marry.” When I look at Steve and Ellen, it reminds me that this is exactly right.

Adam Lipson, a long time friend of Steve and Ellen Jaffee, lives in Nyack, NY.

 


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