Joseph Dickstein, November 22, 1942 – December 2, 2014

dadAs dedicated as we are to our businesses, there are some moments that are bigger then business. I had one of those moments last month. My dad died on December 2. I have been playing with more gentle ways of saying this… “My dad passed away.” “My family experienced a loss.” None of that really works. The fact plain and simple is that my dad died last month. His death was unexpected. Though he had out patient knee surgery earlier in the day, he was a generally very healthy man. I was expecting to do a lot of things on December 3rd, none of them was to plan his funeral.

First, before I get to the real point of this post, let me tell you a bit about my dad. Joseph Dickstein was a physician. He started his career as an OB/GYN and ended it working for the City of Chicago at one of their clinics. He wasn’t one of these people that lived and died by his work and could never imagine retiring though. No, dad retired the moment he could so he could pursue his other interests. He had all sorts of other interests. He was an avid bicyclist (rode between 100 and 200 miles a week). He collected bobble heads. (Mostly hockey related since he loved the Chicago Blackhawks). He loved family and was perhaps one of the most family oriented guys I ever met. He wasn’t perfect though. He actually was pretty imperfect. He had a personality that could charitably be called challenging (uncharitably you would call him abrasive). But, he was my dad. He was supportive and loving.

So anyway, dad died last month. My mom is visiting me and she and I are getting used to a new reality without him. Spring Insight is getting back to business. (Actually, thanks to our amazing project manager Maria, business didn’t cease.) But, how do you pick up like you never stopped when you experience a loss like this? The only way I can think of is to honor him and keep remembering him. So the obvious next step is to make a contribution in his name. As I mentioned above, my dad loved to bicycle. He was an active member of two bike clubs (one in Chicago, the other in Evanston, Illinois). If you were biking with him and you got a flat tire, he would stop to fix it. In the unlikely event that he didn’t have the tool, he would bike ahead to the nearest bike shop (he knew where they all were) and ride back to get it fixed so he could make sure you got home safely. So, in his honor, I am making a contribution to Working Bikes in Chicago. That contribution will be used by City Bikes to restore 20 bikes to full functionality. Those bikes will be distributed to high need populations in the City of Chicago (the city my dad was born in and where he died.)

I hope after reading this you will consider making a contribution. I would love it if you made it to Working Bikes in honor of my dad, but maybe instead you can make it in your dad’s name (whether to Working Bikes or a charity that is more meaningful to him.)




  1. springinsight on January 8, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Well said! He would have loved it.-Phyllis Dickstein

  2. Hyun M. on January 8, 2015 at 7:09 am

    A wonderful newsletter and thank you for Being You!

  3. Rachel on January 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    I am sure this was hard to write but it was truly wonderful. Keep up your good work. You are in my thoughts.

  4. Ellen Kandell on January 14, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    May his memory be a blessing and give you and your family strength in these difficult months.

  5. jack dickstein on April 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Very nicely put. You spoke from the heart.Uncle jack dickstsein