I write to you today with a heavy heart. A dear friend and avid supporter, Mike Lewy, was sadly killed July 16 as he was riding his bicycle.
I first met Mike in 1995 when I was still walking and swimming at the Jewish Community Center every morning. It was from there that he recruited me to be a member of the Fulton County Planning Board where he was vice-chairman.
I saw Mike every day for several years when I was still able to swim at the J.C.C.
Each week since 1995, he took the task upon himself to make copies of my columns and mail them to me along with some notes as to what was going on in his life.
I enclose his final note to me, written two days before his death.
Do you believe I’ve never gotten drunk in my life?”
(This was in response to my column about bartending.)
“Never even had a single drink – same for cigarettes – never wanted to get ‘hooked.’
I even gave up pot (since last Feb. when I had the flu.)
So – this is one ‘clean’ guy! Oh, and Sat. I’ll be 65!” – Mike
Mike would often commend me on my outstanding attitude towards life in general. And he even went as far as to say, “Who knows, any of us might get hit by a bus some day.”
I would generally respond, “Mike, you’re such a fatalist!”
He would kind of smirk and say, “No, I’m a realist. But don’t ever let that get in the way of your attitude towards life.”
If any of you guys have been long time readers, you remember I started these columns in the fall of 1995. Mike has been making copies and sending them to me faithfully all these years. Had I had an inkling of the outcome of his life I certainly would have saved all the notes he sent me. I know he used to say, “You never know what kind of hand you’ll be dealt.”
I spoke to Knesseth Israel Synagogue July 17, the day after his death, in Gloversville and Debby Finkle told me all services for Mike will be in New Jersey, where his mother lives.
Mike was always involved in the community. He not only got me to join the county planning board, where I served with him for a dozen years, but also the board of the J.C.C., where I served as long as I could still get up the steps.
He founded Orthotronics, an orthodontic brace recycling company, whose employees he counted as family. When he retired, he basically gave the business to them in exchange for office privileges. He used that office up until he died to make copies of my published columns for me. When I had a publishing or physical victory, he was there cheering me on. He also constantly scanned the news and the Web for any research regarding MS to tell me whatever was the latest thing coming down the pike.
I was basically shell-shocked to hear of his death. He was one of a kind. I will truly miss him.