Mr. Bernie Harris, one of Dakim’s own, passed away peacefully Friday evening, April 12, 2013, at the age of 93.
When he came to our doors, volunteering to use our brain fitness system and provide feedback from his player experiences as an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he was a gift to us. However, we did not know at that moment what a rare gift he would turn out to be and how he would change us forever.
Bernie was part of our family and came into our offices to play our system for more than 5 years. His feedback was invaluable–whether he was enthusiastically drumming on the table to the beat of a familiar song, cranking through story problems with his amazingly quick mind for math, growling when he found a typo or determined that our onscreen instructions were lacking, or expressing his constant dissatisfaction for any score lower than 100. And he was so much more.
In the time he was in our midst, we came to know and be uplifted by a joyous, mischievous, vibrant, magnetic, and energetic relisher of life. He’d worked since he was 14 (and didn’t retire until he was 87!); was a personal aide to Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II; built an international sales company from just four employees; traveled around the world 25 times; hosted annual reunions of family members from all over; helped out family, friends, and countless charities without a second thought; played tennis like a pro; tap-danced and sang at any opportunity; and never forgot where he came from.
He greeted every one of us at the office with the same warmth, generous spirit, and wicked sense of humor—flashing that million-dollar smile that had made friends, won over colleagues, and closed deals with his customers. You could see in his sparkling eyes that he was ready to tell or hear a good joke, turn a few dance steps with the women in the office, or belt out one of the oldies he was so fond of.
He was a hardworking man who didn’t live to work but worked to live a remarkably full life–which for a time he generously shared with us here at Dakim. He was the most wonderful and unique “regular guys” you could ever imagine. He inspired us, and we will all miss him more than we can say.