David Harris Dickstein of Clarks Summit, Pa., passed away in his home on Saturday, surrounded by his loved ones. He and his wife, the former Gail Jacobson, would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 28.
Born in Scranton, he was the son of Doris (Dorrie) Ball Dickstein, Scranton, and the late Stanley N. Dickstein.
He is also survived by his sons, Eric (Lauren) and Marc (Mark); sisters, Susan Pollan (Stuart) and Karen Weinman (Robert); granddaughter, Lola; mother-in-law, Claire Jacobson; and brother-in-law, Jeffrey Jacobson (Robin). Also surviving are beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
David and Gail were high school sweethearts and were married for 49 years. Their love and devotion to one another was obvious to anyone who knew them. They shared a passion for travel, exploring destinations all over the world with close friends and family.
David was an extraordinarily proud and supportive father to Eric and Marc. He allowed nothing to get in the way of his presence in their lives. He coached their soccer teams, attended their piano recitals, and spent quality time with them fishing and boating at Lake Winola. Stories of new experiences, learnings and successes shared over countless delicious meals always brought a smile to his face. David loved, supported and encouraged his sons as they carved their own paths as children and now as adults, husbands and fathers.
David was delighted to become a grandfather to Lola in March 2020. He cherished the simple joys of her playing with the zipper of his sweater and playfully stealing food off her plate. With the help of David's family and friends, she will undoubtedly come to understand how lucky she was to have him in her life, even if for too short a time.
David attended Central High School, where he was an honor student. During his high school years, David was involved with the JCY and JCC, and enjoyed playing guitar in a band. He attended Lehigh University where he studied industrial engineering and was president of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. After graduating from Lehigh, he joined the sales team at Jacobson Hat Company, a business started by Gail's grandfather and great-uncle, Walter and Harry Jacobson, in lower Manhattan in the 1930s.
David worked at Jacobson Hat Company for 50 years (1971-2021). His experience spanned every department, and he eventually became a partner and owner, leading manufacturing and importing. He loved his career and dedicated himself to it, and was always grateful for the opportunity to work with his family and many wonderful colleagues throughout the years, in particular his brother-in-law, Jeffrey Jacobson, and father-in-law, Howard Jacobson.
One of David's particular passions was his annual business trip to Asia to visit the company's supplier partners. He and Gail traveled together on this trip over the course of three decades, carrying on the tradition that his mother- and father-in-law, Claire and Howard Jacobson, started in the 1970s. David loved nurturing relationships with overseas business partners and became close friends with many of them and their families.
In addition to his work at JHats, David served on the board of directors of the Tuscan Holdings Corporation. He was a savvy investor and enjoyed following global markets. He was an active member of the 900 Club, a local investment club, where he was honored to serve as president for several terms.
David prioritized giving back to his community and served on the board of directors of numerous local organizations, including the Jewish Community Center, Temple Hesed, Elan Gardens, the Jewish Home of Scranton, the Jewish Foundation of the Elderly, the Red Cross of Scranton, Glen Oak Country Club and Wave Oak. He also served several terms as president of the JCC and Elan Gardens. He was honored by the JCC as "Man of the Year" in 2005 in recognition of his service to the community.
David had many close friends that he also considered family. He and Gail relished their travels with them on adventures to Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Iceland, the Virgin Islands and more. David loved to golf and developed many close friendships with golf partners over the years. He loved going out with friends. He and Gail were often the first on the dance floor and the last to leave it!
David spent summers at his grandparents' cottage at Lake Winola. As a kid, he loved water skiing and relaxing in the lake with Gail and their friends. As their family grew, David would often be found fishing with his nieces and nephews or kayaking with Gail. He was delighted to participate in activities at the Canoe Club with friends, new and old. David passed his love for Lake Winola on to his sons and their spouses, who will carry on David's memory with every lake sunset and boat trip for decades to come.
The family would like to thank the many doctors, nurses, aides and caregivers who helped David throughout his illness.
Funeral services will be held by Rabbi Daniel Swartz at Temple Hesed, 1 Knox Drive in Scranton, on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 1:30 p.m. The family will receive friends at Temple Hesed from noon until the time of service. Masks and vaccination are required to attend. The service will also be available for virtual participation by visiting www.bit.ly/DavidDickstein. Interment will follow in Temple Hesed Cemetery, Dunmore.
The family will be observing shiva at the Jewish Community Center, 601 Jefferson Ave. in Scranton, on Wednesday and Thursday, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Masks and vaccination required to attend.
David was loved by many and will certainly be missed. Contributions in David's honor can be made to the Jewish Community Center of Scranton, to the Visiting Nurses Association of Lackawanna County, or to NEPA Youth Shelter.
Visiting Nurses Association of Lackawanna County
301 Delaware Ave, Olyphant PA 18447
Jewish Community Center
601 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton PA 18510
NEPA Youth Shelter
PO Box 20176, Scranton PA 18502