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In Memoriam - Frank Tyger


Eulogy written and delivered by Irwin Stoolmacher, Friend, on May 5, 2011

I got to know Frank Tyger through The Times Christmas Appeal.

For many years the funds from the appeal were used to do a variety of good things in the community. Frank would oversee the funds and distribute them to various charities that help those in need in the community. He did this very prudently.

One day it struck me that more money could be raised if The Times selected a single charity and wrote about its good work in the paper on a daily basis during the holiday season. Richard Bilotti agreed and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen was designated as the first charity to receive all the funds donated by Times readers to the holiday appeal. That first year almost $100,000 was raised instead of the normal $15K.

I assisted Frank on making sure all of the more than 600 donations that were made by Times readers appeared correctly in the paper. Working with Frank meant squeezing yourself into his tiny office that was stacked from floor to ceiling with old newspapers.

I quickly realized that working with Frank meant getting it right. No shortcuts! No guesses! No cutting corners! No I think it is this or that! When we couldn’t make out a name on a donation coupon, we’d check phone books, we’d use a magnifying glass to help with writing that was unclear, and we’d call people at night to check on their middle initial. We’d stay at the Times very late to get it right. That was Frank’s way.

Frank, who was a cryptologist during the war, used all of his skills to make sure that what got into The Times was right. That was his job and getting his job right was very important to Frank. And if you wanted to work with Frank you had to do it right. Ultimately I convinced Frank that I was up to the task and we became good friends. We began eating lunch often with our mutual buddy Arnie Ropeik. Those lunches were very special to me and I miss them very much.

I thought I was fairly detail-oriented but compared with Frank Tyger’s attention to detail, I was impulsive. Frank was meticulously detail-oriented. He was incredibly hardworking, extremely smart, very caring, extremely well read, a current events maven and most of all extremely loyal.

If you were lucky enough to earn Frank’s friendship you were truly blessed.

Frank taught me a great deal about looking beyond the clutter to see the real person.

Each day I carry something I learned from Frank with me. Frank would cut up a cancelled envelope, turn it inside-out, and write little notes to himself on it. I don’t carry a Blackberry. Instead, on my money clip, I always have a little slip of paper with my "things to do." Whenever I look at my notes I will think of Frank Tyger – who I was truly blessed to have called my friend.

Stoolmacher is a consultant to non-profit organizations.