Monday, May 18, 2020

Photo of Grandpa's "Last Good Day"

Isaac Burk and family in Washington, D.C. on Oct 7, 1943,
one day before Isaac's fatal heart attack
OCTOBER 7, 1943

The handwritten date on the back of this photo has special significance. It was the "last good day" in the life of my paternal Grandpa.

The snapshot shows Isaac Burk (1882-1943) and his wife, paternal grandma Henrietta Mahler Burk (1881-1954), strolling arm and arm (the couple on the left side).

Isaac and Henrietta had arrived a few days earlier to visit with Henrietta's beloved sister, Ida Mahler Volk (1892-1971). Ida is second from the right in the phioto. Her husband, Louis Volk (1890-1952), might have taken this photo, which also shows a Mahler cousin, Hylda Jacobs Wilner (1898-1990) at the far right. But at that time, photographers roamed big-city streets, taking candid photos of people for a reasonable price.

Alas, this particular Thursday was my grandpa's last good day.

Isaac sadly suffered a fatal heart attack on the very next day, Friday, October 8th.

He was buried on Sunday, October 10, 1943, in Riverside Cemetery, Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

When I look at this photo and the date written on the back, I feel comforted that my grandpa Isaac's last good day was spent enjoying the company of family members he knew and loved.


  1. Wow...the fragility of life. So sad and so poignant.

  2. What a heart-rending story! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you so much for your comments, ladies. It was very emotional, quite sad, seeing the photo, the date, and the memorial card all together.

  4. So a super gift to have that photo, though a bitter sweet one. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. How wonderful that you have this photo. Even though it's a sad story, I can understand how comforting you would find this photo. Thanks for sharing.