Stan for me has been the dearest of friends, the most exceptional of mentors. There is no one with whom it is more exciting to share good news. When I met a beautiful young woman from Chile in 1973, who is the love of my life, I first brought her to meet Stan and Iris. And, there is no one who is more supportive when the sky appears to be falling. I wouldn't be who I am today without Stan.

Out of a lifetime of special moments I will speak briefly about two separated by decades and thousands of miles: the first was when I met Stan and Iris so many years ago in Detroit and, the second, when I stood with Stan and Rosa only a few years ago on an 8,000 foot mountain in the north of Chile.

Stan and Rosa Ovshinsky in Chile's Atacama Desert in October 2009.

Stan and Iris Ovshinsky

Stan and Iris Ovshinsky. Image courtesy of Ovshinsky Family.


I first met Stan and Iris when I was 15 in a basement community room in Northwest Detroit at a meeting to organize a chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a civil rights group. Their ideals and their love for each other flowed through the room. The 1960s were just beginning. The times were very heady and the times were deeply troubled. Stan and Iris's commitment to civil rights was inspiring. They supported students in the South who were being brutally beaten for sitting at lunch counters and they stood with African American families in Detroit who were threatened for wanting a decent home down the block.