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I MISS OUR friend Harvey. And, no, I’m not talking the six-foot-tall, invisible-rabbit kind that Jimmy Stewart immortalized on the silver screen. Our Harvey was Manhattan-born and red-headed, covered head-to-toe in freckles, the only exception being under his watchband—a claim I can thankfully say I never personally verified!
Even as I write this, I picture him laughing out loud and rolling his eyes, as we all enjoy a collective chuckle on his behalf. And he would have wanted it that way.
I worked with Harvey M. Warren almost since the launch of CONTROL magazine back in the late 1980s. Always ready with a joke and a smile, his was a beloved and respected presence throughout the eastern U.S., serving marketing clients in the industrial automation industry for nearly 20 years.
But on Sunday, July 23, Harvey finally succumbed in his two-year fight with cancer, dying among family and friends at his home in Oradell, N.J. He had just turned 50 in May.
A sad day, yes, but also an opportunity to celebrate a life well-lived.
Indeed, as news spread of Harvey’s not unanticipated passing among his former clients, I was overwhelmed with the genuine expressions of friendship and respect, even while giving a nod to his infectious sense of humor, a love of laughter outweighed only by his love of family—and, perhaps, of sports.
“A great man.”
“One of the old-school, good guys.”
“A great personality with a great sense of humor, he was really on top of his game.”
“Harvey was one of the most upbeat people that I've had the privilege of meeting. He always had a positive outlook and a kind word for everyone he knew.”
“He was always personable and friendly—I even was able to get past the fact that he was a Yankee fan!” wrote one die-hard Bostonian.
Among the Control team, Harvey stories are the stuff of legend. From when he tried to buy dinner at a high-end Chicago restaurant using only his “Three Stooges Club” membership card—nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!—to a persistent and nagging conviction that he could somehow alter the outcome of a sporting event simply by putting his $2 down against the ultimate victor.
But perhaps the most visible and meaningful memorials to Harvey are the lives he helped shape with his wife, Laura: son David is off to college this year, and daughter Samantha is midway through high school.
“My dad believed in spending quality time with the people he loved, and he did exactly that,” said David, an exceptionally poised 19-year-old in eulogizing his father. “I know that I am going to miss that special time, even if it was just watching a Yankee game or playing Monopoly.
“I know that I am going to miss those phone calls when he would just call to check in. I know that I am going to miss my Dad everyday. When someone instills so much of them into you, they become part of you. I believe my Dad is a part of the breath I breathe and the laugh I frequently laugh. If you find yourself missing my Dad, look to the people closest to him, for they have been affected by him the most.”
“Harvey's memory shouldn't be about his struggle,” added Harvey’s wife Laura. “Harvey's memory should be about how he lived his life.
“Even though death sometimes chooses the ones we love, it's our obligation to choose life. We have a choice to live, love, and laugh. We have a choice to enjoy sunrises and sunsets. We have a choice to hug the people we love. We have a choice to smile. We have a choice to sing. We have the choice to live each day to the fullest. Honor Harvey by choosing life.”
We miss you, Harv.
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