Category Archives: Eric Zucker

Mark Zucker remembers Eric…..

Mark Zucker’s speech from the memorial:

As everyone knows, Eric Zucker was larger than life. He was a great man, a phenomenal friend, a beautiful brother, a devoted son, a loving husband, and a doting father. But what I want to say, lest we forget, is that Eric was a clown and a scalawag; he made a spectacle of himself; he had absolutely no sense of boundaries. He wore his heart on his sleeve, on both sleeves, it poured out of him, and it got all over everyone. And we’ll never get it off, thank goodness.

He was a rascal. When I was learning to speak, he’d point at a fork and say “cat”, my first koan, and I learned something: you couldn’t always believe every word Eric said; but you always felt the essential truths and love that underlay his tall tales. Except that time I gave a report in school on the dinosaurs that still exist right over that hill; when challenged, I swore up and down I’d gotten it from an absolute authority, my brother. Or those two years he swore repeatedly that he stayed up every night till I was asleep, before climbing out the window to be a secret agent with the Mod Squad. He got me every time.

Eric was a rapscallion and a raconteur. I’d hear other people retelling “stories” from our childhood. Stories. Doozies. Complete fabrications! Myths! Yes, Eric mythologized the world, and thereby gave meaning to the world. He stretched the truth in the service of higher truths. Virtually everything I believe, value, and treasure, and the lion’s share of all the literature and music and art I love was filtered through Eric’s myth-making. And those most crucial of myths that our parents raised us on, of compassion, truth, beauty, justice, and love, were made real in his life through his committed actions, and he made them accessible to us all with his humor. He showed me how to live and laugh as a committed Marxist; Karl and Groucho, of course.

Eric was larger than life, and he had a peculiar genius for people. Every time I used to visit him, he’d be having a huge party. I didn’t get it at the time. I just wanted some intimate time with my brother, but later I realized, those people were 60 of Eric’s most intimate friends, and he felt it essential to introduce me to each of them with a heroic flourish that was frankly embarrassing. Eric’s inner circle basically encompassed the entire universe, and each lucky member was rendered a virtual superhuman glowing with the myths he spun.

Eric made himself scandalously at home in other people’s personal space. Eric had no shame. The way he danced with other people’s wives made me blush. He had no sense of boundaries. He played the fool, but in the classic sense; to unmask the foolishness of the conventional life, and to urge us to live more fully, to share love more freely, to work at our convictions more earnestly, and to make us laugh and let down our guard, to feel the love and joy of human connection, so we could then commit anew, refreshed to do the serious work of life.

Eric was a wanton idealist. Listen carefully, children: First, you can change the world and you must. Second, you can make love and you must. Third, you can appreciate and create beauty, and you must. Standing on the shoulders of our forebears, Eric transmitted these essential truths to me, and he was the living, breathing embodiment of them.

Eric was my touchstone. We always shared a bedroom, and I often used to climb into his bed at night and tell him about my bad dreams when I was a kid. Once, years later, far away, I dreamed that a chicken I was cooking attacked me, and I wrenched it off my neck and stabbed it with a fork, right through the chicken, right through the palm of my hand. When I woke up, all alone in a cabin in a New Hampshire forest, I walked a mile to a phone to tell Eric. He’d understand. Well, now there’s no one to tell. There’s no one to get our jokes. Eric, you knew what no one knew, about us, Max and Betty, our family, where we come from, how our dog Molly sat on our feet around the dinner table while we heard the stories that made us what we are. Now it’s only me, but like you screamed to me through the phone years ago we are ‘blood brothers in a stormy night with a vow to defend’, and I vow, big brother, best brother ever, I’ll keep our stories alive, because they make life worth living, and I’ll keep doing the good work in life, inspired by the way I watched you make the world a better place. Our parents raised us right, and they would have been so proud…

Eric, you never did have any sense of boundaries, and you still don’t. You were and you are larger than life. Even death cannot stop your ripple from spreading. May it become a wave to transform the world.

Mark Zucker
4/12/08

Eric Zucker Quote from 2006

In 2006, Eric posted a note at http://nmviewpoint.typepad.com/new_mexico_viewpoint/2005/11/oate_rides_agai_1.html

“I’m on the Reseda 30th Reunion Committee for the sole purpose of advocating against hosting it at the Ronald Reagan Library. Everyone is amused (but concerned) that I have sworn that if they hold it there in Simi Valley, I will attend wearing a T-Shirt that reads:”Will Trade Arms 4 Hostages.”

Eric Zucker memories

Dear Fellow 1977 Reseda High Classmates:

I am sure you know by now that our classmate Eric Zucker passed away this weekend.

I posted this message on his website and our blog from his 1977 Reseda High classmates:

Although we all knew Eric Zucker in varying degrees and in our own ways, WE ALL KNEW ERIC.

Whether we were very close to him and had daily interactions or only saw him at reunions every 10 years, WE ALL KNEW ERIC.

He had a smile that would light up a room and a laugh that was infectious.

Whether we knew him as a friend or just a classmate. Whether we cheered his athletic prowess on the Cross Country Course or only were entertained by his antics as yell leader and King Regent on the sidelines of football games on friday nights, WE ALL KNEW ERIC.

He had a face you could never forget and the kind of character that you were honored to have known.

Whether he was debating his point with passion or just telling you the latest joke. Whether he was impressing you with his keen intellect or his overwhelming desire to help his fellow man, WE ALL KNEW ERIC.

What we don’t know is how his wife and family will be forever changed by his absence, how horribly his friends, co-workers and classmates will miss him, how many more people he would have touched and helped in his lifetime, how much more he would have done, how his grandchildren would have loved him.

What we do know is how blessed we all were to have known Eric and been touched by him in some way.

WE ALL KNEW ERIC WAS SPECIAL.

We will miss him terribly.

Debbie Mollner
1977 Reseda High School Classmate

In Memoriam: Eric Zucker


Our classmate and good friend passed away.
Eric Zucker passed away after a bout with brain cancer.
Eric at Reseda: King Regent, Ephebian, Boys Vice President, Alcuins President, Interact President,
American Legion Award, Cross Country team 3 years, Boys’ State, Reseda High School Faculty Scholarship.
After Reseda, Eric went to UCLA, then on to Hofstra University School of Law.
He was a Los Angeles County deputy public defender.
Survivors include his wife Donna, their three children, and Eric’s brother Mark. Other schools Eric attended: Newcastle Avenue Elementary Class of 1971, and Sequoia Junior High Class of 1974, both schools in Reseda.
Eric was 48.

Thank you Eric for sharing your strength, wit, humor, kindness, courage, and amazing life.
We will miss you.

Daniel Shudo
Reseda Class of 1977

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