Saturday, November 10, 2012

Plaque Unveiling

Hi Family and Friends,

It's been awhile since we've posted here, but found myself drawn back to this beloved space. I always hold Grandpa Jack in my thoughts and close to my heart, but this time of the year I reflect even more deeply as the first anniversary of his death approaches. I'm still floored by how many ways he's touched and impacted the lives of others, including my own. He is greatly loved and forever missed.

This past Sunday, November 4th a small group of family gathered at Mt. Sinai to unveil the plaque and share memories. It was a bit of an untraditional unveiling and just how Jack would've liked it - humble, simple and thoughtful.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the tradition of unveiling the headstone here is a brief summary: The custom of placing a monument over the grave of a departed person is a very ancient Jewish tradition. The Book of Genesis, for example, records that Jacob erected a tombstone over the grave of his wife Rachel. From Biblical times onward, wherever Jewish communities have existed, Jews have continued this practice of erecting a memorial in honor of their deceased.

The tombstone is erected to indicate clearly where a person is buried, so that family and friends may visit the gravesite. It is also a way of remembering and honoring the memory of the person who has died.

An unveiling takes place during the first year after death. There are no strict guidelines for the timing of an unveiling, and, while families may choose a date at any time after the end of the Shiva, it has become a contemporary practice to schedule this ceremony for some time between the end of Shloshim, the thirty day period of intensive mourning, and the first Yahrzeit, the anniversary of a death. The mourners prayer is usually read and sometimes the ceremony is performed by a rabbi. It is also customary to leave a rock or pebble at the grave to signify that there has been a visitor and to honor the deceased.

Harriett decided that she would like to keep the ceremony as positive as possible and was very clear that this wasn't supposed to be like another funeral. She shared some of her written words of remembrance, love and gratitude. Remembering Jack and all of his wonderful attributes and gifts that are left in his legacy.

We spent the afternoon sharing memories and stories; eating and drinking. It was a very special day to say the least!

What better time to share Jack's beautiful plaque with everyone and honor him on this Veterans Day Weekend!

Semper Fi!

Photo courtesy of Dan Root

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Memory of Jack Root

1st. Lt. Jack Root 1945

Jack & Harriett 1948

Harriett and Jack 2011

Jack's service yesterday was attended by over 200 close friends and family. It was a beautiful day and the service was truly a celebration of life. Officiated by Dad's close friend and former Co-worker Rabbi Alicia Magal, the service was everything "JACK"! From the music to the Marine Corp Honor Guard to the moving words from Shirley, Alan, Carly, Ruari, Leah, Jessica, Tyson, Caroline, Dan, John and Jim. However, the most moving and memorable words came from Jack, in a letter read by John that Dad wrote earlier in the year. For those of you who have asked for a copy, those that could not be there in person and those that want to read Jack's words that were best described as being both "Relevant and Reverent". here is his gift to you:

Thank you for your relationship with our Jack.

April 27, 2011
Since I cannot speak to you at my own funeral service and since I didn’t know when I would arrive here ....I decided to write my own farewell address.

This is being written in my 87th year of life and taking time to reflect upon  some of my deepest feelings for all of you is a real joy.

First and foremost I thank all of you who are here to celebrate my life and comfort my family.

Secondly as I look back upon my life I truly have few regrets the biggest one being that I will miss being with you and witnessing what new things the world will bring, and hopefully peace among the nations.

As many of you know, I have been called, “Bionic Man”  among some other names

not to be mentioned here.

To say that I have been blessed for an exciting, stimulating, and fortunate lifetime would be a vast understatement...

I have lived a life of love.

Love and returned love for my family

For my Sons and Daughter in Laws

For my Grand Children

For my Nieces and Nephew

For my Cousins

My buddies (male and female)

My co-workers who helped me build AVHQ into a very special and successful enterprise.

And the countless numbers of wonderful and supportive people with whom I was fortunate to engage with over these long years.

And My Medical team who helped make it possible for me to become “The Happy Bionic Tennis Playing Man”

And never to be forgotten: My cherished, incredible partner and loving wife Harriett.

She is the glue that has held together our       amazing family and friends.

And The United States Marine Corps

Who accepted my enlistment and provided me with an unforgettable training that has ingrained my survival, a team approach to life, and a deep unwavering love of our country.  Siemper Fidelis...Always Faithful.

And finally ....being blessed by the Supreme Being who has consistently watched over me. and managed Houdini like situations. May He or She watch over you and your loved ones.


      Every  Precious Moment


Jack's Favorite Poem

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Donation Information

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to any one of the following organizations in Jack Root's name:

USMC Semper Fi Fund

Concern Foundation (Please go to tab 'How to Help' and send a tribute card donation in Jack's name)

Starlight Foundation (Please make sure to make the donation 'in honor of Jack Root')

We thank you all for your continued support and love.

The Root Family

From Peter Samuelson and Family


I feel terrible that I did not know when or where the service was taking place so that Saryl and I could attend.  Entirely my fault; I forgot the Blog existed and so did not check it.  So very sorry.  If there is any later memorial service, please let me know. We both send you a warm embrace and we share your sadness at Jack’s passing, but with the silver lining of witnessing a life so extraordinarily well lived, and such a lasting and hugely positive effect on so many lives around him. As the British Jews say at times like this, “Long Life!”

XXx Peter.

Best regards,

Peter Samuelson
Film Associates, Inc.

From Shirlee Sevin

We knew Jack was ill and that this was coming.  Nonetheless, the heartbreak is still there. It was a privilege to be Jack's friend. He, along with his wife Harriet, was a wonderful neighbor, dedicated to this community, to his friends, and to the tennis program which he championed.  He was our resident photographer, chronicling all the hits and misses, and our birthday celebrations will never be the same without the cherished photocards he created for each of us as the years rolled by.
There will always be an empty chair at the table. 
We all loved him so.

From Art & Gabriele Goldaper


Jack Root was a man for all seasons, a successful businessman, a loyal friend, a devoted family man and to all who knew him, a unique and engaging personality.

I am sure everyone has at least a story or two to tell about Jack for he created a joy for life everywhere he went,

I was not related to Jack but we were connected under our business skins.  Jack was the king of personal relationships with his family and in his business life as well.  He never met a busboy or a waiter he didn’t want to have a conversation with.

I met Jack when he was operating Audio Visual HQ out of 2 rooms in the Biltmore Hotel.  Sure he had some ups and downs but he built the most successful Audio Visual company in the Western U. S.  He did it with creative energy and his gift of interacting with people.

On several occasions we had lunch and he would always walk in through the back door of his building and have a short exchange with every employee he encountered on the way to his office.

Over one of those lunches, we hatched an idea to bring a group of independent entrepreneurs together once a month to discuss our common problems.  It was a mixed group of Harvard MBA’s and street fighters like Jack and I who created a business from scratch and without much capital. The MBA’s thought a business was a commodity and Jack and I were appalled by that thought.  Our business was our baby.  In effect the group became our Board of Directors.  They helped provide a lot of guidance and solutions to our individual problems.  It was an invigorating experience that still goes on today with younger counterparts.  When we retired we formed a group of business retirees.

After Jack sold AV/HQ to the Brits he was disappointed that having built this successful business they didn’t feel they needed his input any further.  What a mistake.

Jack was a proud marine, not just when he served, but for all his life.  He transferred that pride in trying to live every day to its fullest.  He was probably the only marine who aspired to be a Shakespearean actor.

The world needs more Jack Roots.  We will miss him.

Art and Gabriele

From Janet Blaske

Hi Root family,

Please accept my deepest sympathy during this difficult time.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

I have very fond memories during my 5 year career at AVHQ in the early 1980's.  Back then, AVHQ was like a small family and I will always cherish the memories of watching Jack grow that company into a huge success!

Rest in Peace my friend!


Jan Blaske

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In Memory of Jack Root

Our beloved Jack, husband to Harriett, father to Jim, John and Dan, grandfather to Tyson, Caroline, Jessica, Carly, Ruari and Leah passed away quietly this morning. The family is grateful for the outpouring of prayers and thoughts during the past months.

A Memorial Service for Jack will be held at Mount Sinai Cemetery on Tuesday November 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM. Donations in Jack's memory can be made to The Semper Fi Foundation, The Concern Foundation or The Starlight Foundation.

The Root Family

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jack Street Journal - Nov. 18

Dear Family & Friends,
This blog was created to keep you all updated on the status of our beloved Jack. We are writing this entry to candidly make you aware of Jack's current state. Earlier this week he began to show more aggressive signs of fatigue and loss of appetite. During the week, Jack began 24-hour hospice care to continue supporting his quality of life - frequent vital check ups, daily regimen, comfort for both him and the family. Wednesday and Thursday Jack began struggling to verbally communicate. It was apparent that he understood what was being said by his non-verbal acknowledgements. As of today, he is with immediate family surrounding him with love knowing that his passing is in the very near future.
We want to again thank you for your continued support, love and positive thoughts. It has truly helped us reach a place of peace. We are grateful to have such wonderful and caring people in our lives.
Please continue to post your thoughts and memories on this blog. We will continue to keep you updated.
Jessica & Carly Root on behalf of The Root Group

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome all.

Welcome to The Jack Street Journal. Here you can find up to the date information about how our beloved Jack is doing. We will do our best to post as often as we can. It is our hope that you would check here first to see about any new news with respect to how Jack is doing before calling the house. We all know how much you care for him and love him as well. Why else would you be reading this blog? You can also subscribe to this blog so you can be notified of any new postings via email.

Please feel free to comment on any posts, as often as you like. If you want to send in any stories you have about Jack, or pictures you have of him, or if you want to send him a personal note of support that you would like to see posted on this blog for him or others to read, please do so at this new Gmail email address:

We will do out best to post this as soon as we can.

So thanks from us all in advance for all you prayers, love, and support for Jack. We all feel your love and support.


Harriett, Jim, John, and Dan

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Message from Jack

To post a message on The Jack Street Journal, email your message to and we will post your message to Jack!

I have struggled to find a way that would adequately display how important all your cards, calls, thoughts and love have meant to me, Harriett and the family.

You have helped sustain the circle of love created by this absolutely incredible family and loving close friends. I cannot do more than to once again tell you ALL how much you mean to me; And, how much love I have for all of you.  I want you to know that my love comes from deep within my heart continues through my last emotional efforts.

You’ll do me the greatest honor if you will continue to give of your self and enjoy life to its utmost,


The Daily Root Report- Nov 4th,5th & 6th

Hey All,
Apologies for the delay in updates here at The Jack Street Journal. Here is what's going on from this past weekend. Thank you all for your avid interest, love, support, and thoughts.

Friday was an eventful day. Jim was flying back to Houston for the first time since his September arrival to Los Angeles. As much as Jim was looking forward to being home with his wife and grandchildren, it was bittersweet for all. However, Jim is planning to return back to Los Angeles in the next week to visit, help out, support, and enjoy time with family and friends. Jack rested for the day and was later greeted Friday evening by one of the first AVHQ employees, Norm Levin. Jack and Norm sat and reminisced on the days at AVHQ, where life has taken them since then and shared gratitude toward one another. 

Norm told Jack of his own company he has formed through Jack’s early teachings at AVHQ. It was great to hear about the business, Norm’s wife and daughter, and of course was great to visit with an old friend.  John and Ruari arrived during Jack’s visit with Norm. After Norm left for the evening, Jack got a wonderful back rub from Ruari, which he really enjoyed! Jack and Harriett had a nice quiet evening in together after John and Ruari left for a movie.
Saturday morning started out with Aleta preparing a wonderful swiss cheese, ham and egg omelet for Jack that he enjoyed greatly. Shortly after breakfast the Skirball Hospice Team arrived and helped give Jack a nice shave and shower, with much direction from Lieutenant Jack.  Jack received many phone calls throughout the day from friends and family such as Shirley, Janice, Natalie, Art & Gabriele, Lisa, Lora Barger, and Jessica to name a few.  Although Jack cannot always make it to the phone, he continues to feel so grateful, loved, and cared for through the letters and phone calls that he and Harriett continue to receive.  

Saturday afternoon Jack took a nap and rested for a few hours. In the meantime, Harriett took some time to go shopping with John and Ruari. They ate Junior’s hot dogs for lunch, got a few new items for Ruari’s closet and got to enjoy watching Ruari tumble and turn at gymnastics. It was a great day for the three of them. Carly visited for the afternoon and got to enjoy a nice dinner with Harriett while Jack rested. Later in the evening, John, Jamie, and Carly got some good laughs from Jack and some really special time together.  He retired to bed shortly thereafter at about 8:30pm and slept through the night.
Sunday morning Jack continued to rest with anticipation of his visit from longtime friend of over 25 years and AVHQ coworker Lora Barger. Jack had another great breakfast prepared by Aleta and began to get ready for his 1pm visit with Lora. Jack, Harriett, Lora and John met for a few hours where Lora shared some old AVHQ apparel, awards, and stories to share with the Root’s.  This was a very special visit for Jack which he had been anticipating for some time now. Words of gratitude, honor, respect, and care were exchanged in the couple of hours all together. During Lora, Jack, John and Harriett’s time together, Jessica and Jamie enjoyed a great lunch and walk, returning later where Jessica  had some nice quiet time with Jack before Jack he fell asleep for the evening. 
Thank you all again for the continuous thoughts, wishes, cards, notes, prayers and love you continue to shower Jack, Harriett and the rest of The Root’s with. We will continue to update you and hope to have some  more pictures to share in the coming week.  
Carly Root (on behalf of The Root Group)

Lora's AVHQ Jacket

Jack and Lora

Jack Smooches Lora!

Jack Give Lora a Gift

Lora Jack and Harriett

Norm Levin and Jack

Norm, Jack and Harriett

Norm, Jack Harriett and Crystal Ball!

Ruari comforts Grand Pa

Tribute to Jack on Hugh Hewitt Radio Show

This was a tribute to Jack Root by Hugh Hewitt on behalf of the Semper Fi Fund as a donation was made in his name by Bob and Toby Waldorf!

Thanks from the Root Family!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

From John Barger

Dear Jack,

Thank you so much for the United States Special Mint Set from 1967 you sent to me through my mom. They will greatly enhance my coin collection and I thank you dearly for it. I will always remember you as my mom’s mentor and for these coins. I understand you are a photographer so I included my favorite picture that I have taken. I took it when I was seven years old.

Photo by John Barger for Jack