Last Friday was a sad day for Boca Raton when we said goodbye to one of its outstanding residents, Steve Brown. The 58-year-old was hit by a motorist while riding his bike and died instantly. Loss can never be measured but love and admiration can. Steve built a very successful furniture and design operation (Brown’s Interior Design), which has been in Boca Raton for the last 30 years. He was committed to organizations that were part of the backbone of this community like The Jewish Federation and the Florence Fuller Child Development Center to name two.

The 90-minute service at Temple Beth-El commemorating his life was full of grieving family and friends who recounted the memories of a man who meant so much to them and to Boca Raton. Steve Brown always had time for everyone and his sense of humor was magnetic. He was one of those people who was fully engaged and you could see it in the way he treated people, or held a conversation with you; he was the kind of man who made you feel that you were the most important person in the room.

The Temple’s Senior Rabbi, Dan Levin, summed it up when he quoted a passage from E.E. Cummings, “I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart.”  Steve Brown’s last act was before a standing-room-only audience. His life’s story was told by loving family and friends to people who sat in silence and disbelief at this tragedy.

I don’t fully understand how God works, why vital people who are so important to their families, businesses and community are suddenly taken away from us. I know he asks us to know him. Love him and serve him and then move on. The bar that Steve set for all of us by his actions was very high, but in his death, we all are invigorated by the life that preceded it.