Lew died unexpectedly last August while scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Joan.
Margaret Davis (Simpson)
This is a response from Joan Kirschner, Lew's wife for over 43 years. I regret to inform you that Lew died unexpectedly last August while scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands. I know he was looking forward to attending the class reunion. Please keep him in your thoughts while renewing old acquaintances and friendships.
Sincerely, Joan Kirschner
Lew Kirschner, CHARLOTTE - Lew Kirschner, beloved father, grandfather and husband, passed away on Monday, August 14, 2012. His unexpected passing took place while scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands - engaging in the activity where he felt most at peace. At 67 years of age, after a life of hard work and understated success, Lew was enjoying a newfound freedom to pursue the things he loved in life - spending time with his family and treasured grandchildren, travelling the world with his precious wife, and photographing an underwater world that few of us ever get to see or experience. Lew was born on June 7, 1945 in Long Branch, NJ to the late Samuel and Beatrice Kirschner. He grew up along the Jersey Shore, in his mind, the best place in the world to be a kid and which most certainly began his fascination with the water. A natural 'tinkerer', Lew decided upon a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Toledo. During his time as an undergraduate, he began his love affair with computers and hoped to pursue a degree in computer science. This love affair also coincided with Lew meeting the love of his life, Joan Kleinman, and together they moved from Ohio to Long Island, NY where he took his first job as a systems analyst at Sperry Gyroscope. A few years later, two became three as Steven Kirschner was born to Joan and Lew in April 1973. Recognizing his skill for listening and solving problems, Herbert Kleinman, Lew's father-in-law and mentor, made a suggestion that would change the course of Lew's life - he urged Lew to consider a career in computer sales. From that point forward, life moved at a rapid pace. Joan, Lew, Steven and the newborn Laurie, moved from Long Island to Suffern, NY as Lew took his first sales role at Data General Corporation. The recommendation to move into sales proved to be inspired, as Lew embarked on a successful career which spanned 25 years and included holding multiple sales and management positions at Data General, Sun Microsystems and his final leap-of-faith, taking a management position at the start-up Network Appliance. The next stage of his life began when Marcus Kirschner, Lew's first grandchild, was born. He and Joan moved to Charlotte, NC to be close to their son, daughter-in-law Heidi Kirschner and their new darling grandson (and eventually, four years later, their rambunctious granddaughter Alexa). Once in Charlotte, Lew took advantage of his retirement to fervently pursue his many interests, most notably, his love of the underwater world. Once certified, he travelled the world to dive in some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Kangaroo Island, Mexico and the Caribbean. In addition to observing the salt water world for his own enjoyment, Lew also added to his repertoire underwater photography in order that he might share a glimpse of 'his world' to his family and friends. Beyond diving, he was a loyal and dedicated member of the Temple Beth El Board of Directors, the Temple Beth El Brotherhood, and other groups associated with his many and varied interests which spanned from woodworking and fly-fishing to travel, sports and his beautiful salt water reef aquarium. Lew is survived by his loving wife, Joan Kirschner; daughter, Laurie Kirschner of London, UK; son, Steven Kirschner and wife Heidi of Charlotte, NC; two grandchildren, Marcus and Alexa Kirschner; and brother, Brian Kirschner of Queens, NY. A memorial service to celebrate Lew's life will be held at 10:30 am Sunday, August 19, 2012 at Temple Beth El, 5101 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226 followed by internment at The Hebrew Cemetery. Shiva will be observed at the family home on Sunday and Monday evenings from 7:00-9:00pm. The family asks that contributions be made to two causes Lew felt most passionate about - Temple Beth El c/o The Rabbi's Discretionary Fund; or The Innocence Project - to help exonerate innocent people and prevent wrongful convictions - at www.innocenceproject.org. Arrangements are in care of Hankins and Whittington Funeral Service.