14 thoughts on “Stan Oldak, a Friend (1947-2007) – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard,

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend Stan! It is terrible that there are people out there who do these things. I hope that the police catch the perpetrator if he doesn’t turn himself in.


  2. Hi. I’ve never met Stan, but as a fellow cyclist, I am grateful to you for posting your thoughts and memories of him. I am preparing for the Paris-Brest-Paris event as well. When I heard about the accident I immediately felt the need to know more about him, and your words comforted me in no small way. The dangers of cycling are something we all deal with on a daily basis, be it commuting to work, going on a Saturday morning club ride, or participating in a timed long-distance brevet like the one in Texas (a 28-hour, 400km event). Riding at night is one of the risks of that type of event that we all assume when we ride, and appropriate safety precautions (lights, reflective gear) are worn by all.

    I wasn’t on the ride this weekend, but I rode most of this spring with the Houston group, and I know the riders and organizers down there are just devastated. The ultra-marathon cycling community is a pretty close-knit group, and you’ll never meet a friendlier, more generous and kind bunch than the Houston Randonneurs. My thoughts are with you and Stan’s family, who are dealing with so much more than the sadness I feel at the loss of a kindred spirit I never met.

    Thank you.

  3. I also rode the event this weekend, but a different distance and a different route. I had a chance to sit down with a group of randonneurs at dinner on Friday night and Stan was among that group. He talked about how he liked to get on a plane and go to other states to ride brevets. Really great guy, was my impression. I was shocked at the end of the ride to hear about what had happened. I visited that stretch of road early this morning to try to get an idea what had happened, but there wasn’t much to see. My heart goes out to his family and friends…I shed a tear when I read this blog entry. Stan lived a remarkable life. Rest in peace, Stan.

  4. HI, I rode with Stan on Saturday. We started the ride at 5 am on the 5th day of the 5th month. We shared lunch with Stan in a little Texas town named Cistern on the side of the highway. One of the family had come out to make us sandwiches from the home made bread his wife had baked for the occasion. It was a sunny, warm, windy spring day in Texas. the wind was blowing from the south at over 20 mph. It was the sort of day made for Stan and the other Randonneurs.

    The randonneurs are a small group in Houston. There were only about 40 or so people participating that day. In Cistern there were only six of us. I asked Stan were he was from. He said “New York” and I thought “wow you are really hard core to come all the way to Texas for a qualifier!” At the time I though how good he looked on his bike, and like the rest of us, he was enjoying that day and riding strong into the wind.

    Stan had signed up for the 400K ride, and I needed to ride the 600K. So we parted in Cistern. Stan went north with the others and I went south by myself, but I hoped to see them along the return leg on US 90 into columbus. l didn’t see them that night. Later I found out about the accident. I regret that I wasn’t with him on that stretch.

    This makes us all very sad in Houston. This is the first accident of this type that we’ve had. We’ll never be able to ride through that area, particularly at night, without thinking of Stan.

  5. My name is Marlyn Martinez (Spunky) and I am also a randonneur from the Houston club. I was very much in shock when we heard the news about Stan. Unfortunately I was scheduled to do the 600 but an accident on my bike back on April 1st where I fractured my pelvis phohibited from being able to complete my series in order to qulify for Paris-Brest-Paris. This was also my dream. My heart goes out to his family. We will always remember Stan.

  6. I am a certified dental assistant in Juneau, Alaska and I’ve worked for SEARHC for about 18 years. I’m so saddened by this news regarding Dr. Oldak. I had the priviledge of assisting him on 9/11 for the 1st time in Juneau. I’ll never forget that week! Also, we worked together in Hoonah and Yakutat. We had to fly to both of these villages with all our equipment for a week to treat the children in the area. I always looked forward to Dr. Oldaks’ visits and will miss him. He was very proud of his own kids and would bring us up to date on their activities and accomplishments. He was a wonderful person and awesome childrens’ dentist!
    Blessings to his family,
    Chris Hansen Tatham

  7. Stan came to SE Alaska to provide dentistry to children in several communities. As coordinator of his trips I was looking forward to seeing him this week and next. Our staff and all the friends he made during his many trips here are devastated. He was a man of many interests; we enjoyed sharing with him an interest in music and progress with his cello lessons. He loved photographing the natural scenery; when we all had the opportunity, we took him fishing and hiking. He attacked life with enthusiasm. Stan will be sorely missed. Our condolences to his family and other friends.

  8. Dear Richard,
    I often read your informative posts, and this would be my first time commenting, i just wanted to offer my sincerest condolences, may Stan be in a better place.

  9. Stan was one of the kindest and dedicated dental colleagues. His work in Alaska is well known. Stan traveled a long way periodically to render dental care to native Alaskan children who had never seen a dentist and were in dire need of oral health care. He did this quietly and never needed or wanted recognition for his noble efforts beyond his own understanding of just how important his work and contributions were to Society. Stan will be missed by all. He was indeed, the true measure of a human being.
    Elliott Moskowitz

  10. Thanks for that lovely comment, Elliott. Did you read that the Juneau paper will do a profile of Stan? I’m talking to the reporter about him on Mon. Look for it around Wed. or so. I assume you’re in AK. But if not, check back here & I’ll link to the article.

    Stan visited me here in Seattle several times coming back or going to AK & spoke often about the work he did. Just hearing that he had treated a teenager w. serious dental disease who’d never seen a dentist before in his life was both horrifying & wonderful at the same time. But it would only have been horrifying if there’d been no Stan there to treat the child. The fact that he understood the importance of coming to AK. to do this was what was wonderful.

  11. Stan Oldak made a remarkable contribution to improving pediatric dental care in Southeast Alaska. He was greatly appreciated by staff and patients. He will be missed and remembered. Condolences to his family. -Susan Carlson MD, Medical Director, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium

  12. I served with Dr. Oldak in the US Army. (Camp Stanley, Korea – -and no, they did not name Camp Stanley for him!) I was going through old pictures just the other day and found one of him in full field gear (tough guy!). I searched the internet for Stan and a couple of others who’s photos triggered warm memories, intending to contact them and offer the photos. I am profoundly sorry to have learned of his tragic passing. My 32 year old recollection of Stan was that he was a kind and gentle man. His family and friends must miss him terribly. As I said, I have at least one picture of Stan that I’d be happy to share as soon as I get it digitized.

  13. I was a childhood friend of Stan and attended Queens College with him where he was the the president of our house plan. He was a genuinely decent and caring person, and I was stunned to learn of his death. My condolences to his family and friends as I know he was the kind of person who is sorely missed.

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