My father, Lawrence (Larry) Hurwit, was a brilliant, caring, philanthropic individual. He had profound integrity, empathy for those less fortunate, a hard-working nature, and a profound sense of responsibility to provide for his family in every way he knew best. He cherished the closeness of family.
He enjoyed life to its fullest with honor, passion and gusto. His valued honesty, empathy, goodness, humor, creativity, and perseverance, and made a big splash in this world… making it better than he found it.
Edith, his beloved wife and best friend of 67 years, was a truer life partner that can ever be had. Through her untiring love, self-giving nature, humor, natural smarts and intuition, she was his anchor, yet encouragingly set him free to develop, grow and succeed in untold ways.
I wish I knew his loving mother Helen (Milkowitz) Hurwit who passed away when he was around 20 years of age. She and Larry’s hard working, father Ben, must have had a big influence in grooming his character.
Ben and Helen’s other two sons, Albert and Bob, were extremely close with my father, and are each extraordinary in their own inimitable ways. I feel extremely fortunate to have such loving, brilliant and dutiful uncles. Their amazing characters, along with Larry’s, are an asset to the Hurwit/Milkowitz lineage, as are their families.
Larry was blessed with music in his cells. Helen recognized his innate talent early on and brought him to sing on the radio with perfect pitch at age three.
At some point, he could play virtually any instrument fluently, as soon long as he became familiar with the notes on the scale. He mostly enjoyed the piano and saxophone.
Upon graduation from high school, Larry enlisted into the Army for two years. Those in charge recognized his talent and made him the arranger of that Division’s Army Band. He immensely enjoyed his time in the Service while arranging music and playing the saxophone with his new orchestra buddies.
Larry grew up in the big band era & and while enjoying all music, subsequently jazz and theatrical music became his favorite genres. In the 1970’s, he wrote the score to an off broadway play called, “Sextet”. Clive Barnes, a (ruthless) former New York Times Theater Critic, keenly loved the music, however sadly, not so much on the storyline.
Larry composed hundreds, possibly a thousand songs, many which would bring tears to one’s eyes, but unfortunately the vast majority were never brought to the attention of the public.
He composed the score for several plays which were also never produced. He adored the arts and supported them regularly.
Larry was concerned about the course America was headed and composed music and lyrics supporting equality for all and democratic principals. His “Florida” song was officially on recognized by a by the Florida Legislative Resolution as Florida’s Official “Greeting Song”, while Bob Graham was Governor.
Wherever there was a piano, one could find there, spreading joy and fostering togetherness, even among strangers.
When not engrossed in music, he successfully made his living in real estate development, which took up a lot of his time for decades.
Idleness was not in Larry’s life-dictionary … he was wired fast to succeed and more importantly to proceed. He most naturally, thought “outside the box” which, with his sharp mind and persuasive manner, enabled him to get extraordinary things done - for instance the inception and creation of a home to aid women and children in desperate need of shelter and care. He organized contractors from every specialty of construction to donate their services, as he donated the land to the State of Florida. It was named the Ben and Helen Hurwit Family Resource Center, but the name was later changed to the Family Resource Center of South Florida. For his efforts and generosity, he was recognized with an award in the City of Miami. Most importantly now, children and women in need are still aided to this day, which would delight Larry.
Along with a “triple A personality”, Larry had a very funny sense of humor and was kind, caring and charming, in what I attempt to describe as an old-fashioned, “they just don’t make them like that anymore” kind of way.
In the last years of his life, while suffering from memory loss, he developed an integral awareness of his very close relationship to G-d, which he did not verbalize in earlier years. His more practical, analytical and philosophical nature metamorphosed into a simple, extremely heartfelt one, surprisingly dominated by one with deep spiritual awareness. His daily, very intimate conversations with G-d, with hands clasped together, were often eloquently verbalized and remarkably moving. I cannot recall a time when those sacred conversations did not begin and/or end with Larry profusely thanking G-d. He knew, without any shadow of doubt, that all along, G-d was the wind behind his sails every moment of his life.
I was privileged to have had the golden opportunity to assist my mom as his caregiver the final four years of his life, and was very amazed and inspired to witness his new spiritual aspirations, along with his gentlemanly sweetness, adorable humor and charm.
I feel unfathomably blessed to have known, much less be the daughter of, such a loving and extraordinary human being, who along with my dearest mother and spiritual master (of over 40 years), Sri Chinmoy, have inspired me most profoundly.
May my father rest in Peace and Bliss, in G-d’s All-Loving Embrace.
Tilvila Marci Hurwit