"Should no sculptured marble rise to his memory, nor engraved stone bear record of his deeds, may his remembrance be as lasting as the land he honored." Paraphrase by Dean Barnes of Daniel Webster's Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson, Aug. 2, 1826

Elliot J. Wachs

Elliot J. Wachs, age 62 of Ormond Street in Albany died suddenly on Sunday morning, August 26, 2007, at St. Peter's Hospital after being stricken at his residence. Elliot was born in NYC and grew up in the Bronx. He was a graduate of Albany High School and the State University of New York at Buffalo where he received his M.A. in history and his J.D. from Albany Law School where he graduated in 1971. He was a practicing attorney associated with the law firm of Ackerman, Wachs and Finton in Albany. He was a member of Temple Israel in Albany and Albany City Lodge # 540 Knights of Pythias and the American and NYS Bar Associations. He was an avid sailor and gardener and an American Revolution War Reenactor. Elliot was also a member of the NYS Army Reserves. He is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Barbara Olshein Wachs. Loving father of Lara Wachs of NYC and Joshua Wachs of Albany.

A Eulogy

On Sunday, August 26, 2007 the re-enacting community lost a dedicated person and we lost a terrific friend. Though Elliot was in our group for only a of couple years, he will be greatly missed. His enthusiasm for re-enacting was not only intense but contagious. He dove in head first and never looked back. He was dedicated to teaching people different facets of life in the 18th century. Whether it was visiting a school to demonstrate to students life in the 18th century, teaching how to write with a quill (his new passion), or just sitting and talking with those visitors who dropped by our dining fly, his enthusiasm spoke to those he talked to. And not just to student and visitors, his enthusiasm also spread to us as well. With his ability to make friends quickly with his easy going personality, he energized our group. And while we will miss him as a re-enactor, we will miss him more as a friend. Shalom Elliot.

Our Last Day with Elliot

Kevin Richard-Morrow realized that Elliot was not able to clean his gun after fielding at Bennington. Therefore, on Saturday, August 25, 2007 Harvey and I went to Barbara and Elliotís house to visit and so that Harvey could clean Elliotís gun for him.

It was such a beautiful day that we all decided to sit out in the backyard in the shade under a tree. It was so pleasant sitting there, chatting, listening to Elliot tell us about his recent experiences in the hospital. He told us that Barbara had turned into "Nurse Nazi" and that she had sent off for the uniform and it should be there any day.

We sipped decaffeinated iced tea and got to have a slice of Elliotís birthday cake. We admired his garden and, with his usual enthusiasm, he told us how it had come about. His amazement that perennials would just come back every year and he just kept planting more and more.

We went inside and he proudly showed off the writing desk that Barbara had gotten him for his birthday. As we sat down he began telling us how much he wanted to field at Saratoga. We said, "Oh sure youíll be there." And he insisted "No, I mean I want to actually be out on that field!" That was his dream and his goal.

The two of them looked so happy together and I remember thinking how lucky they were and how nice to see a couple that had been married for so long and still so obviously in love with each other.

Elliot was a generous, kind man who had a passion for life. He lived to the fullest. He will be sorely missed.

Mary Alexander

Click on the image below for a special photo slide show honoring Elliot


Background music for the slide show is Lament (Bovaglie's Plaid), performed by R. P. Hale
Photos by Chris Depta, Stephen Fogle and Jim Sparks

"When a friend is carried to his grave, we recollect a thousand endearments which before glided off our minds without impression, a thousand favors unrepaid, a thousand duties unperformed, and wish, vainly wish for his return, so much as that we may bestow happiness, and recompense that kindness which before we never understood." Samuel Johnson 1750