Abdullah (Al) Ersoz, 81 (or was it 84?), of Springfield, Virginia, departed this mortal plane April 22, 2023. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Rachel Ersoz, daughters Alisa (Daniel) Hewitt and Leyla (Ed) Andrews, and grandsons Lachlan, Sullivan, and Desmond. Dad’s age has always been a bit of a mystery. Born in the village of Sirataslar, east of Gaziantep, Turkey, his father firmly believed age 18 was too young to be conscripted into the miliary, and long said he’d changed the birthdates of his sons to make them officially three years younger. Perhaps this is true, perhaps not. What we do know is while our existence in this world is finite, opportunities to embrace life are everywhere. Dad’s life was no exception.
First leaving home to attend high school in Gaziantep, then completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Ankara, dad quickly realized his destiny was beyond his life in Turkey. He once said that he knew that what he wanted wouldn’t be found where he was, so he left to follow his ambition. Moving to the U.S. for graduate school and ultimately earning a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Georgia (where he met mom!), dad continued to make leap after leap into the new life he was building.
To know dad is to also know how much he enjoyed spending time outdoors. Never more so than when that time included fishing, tending a spectacular garden, or grooming the lawn on one of his many mowers. As kids, camping trips were always a highlight. Dad was never more at peace in the world than when he’d get up extra early for a little morning fishing before the rest of us awoke.
We often referred to dad as “the king of guest appearances.” If there was a social event, he’d be the first to welcome you, say his “hellos,” perhaps crack a quick joke, and before you knew it, he was outta there. Not surprisingly, we’d usually find him outside somewhere tending a fire or planning his next project or gardening need. We know you’ve got so many guest appearances to make now. We’ll miss you dad.
Join us for a celebration of life at one of his favorite places, the “River House” on the Rappahannock River. A time to gather, share, reminisce, and connect, we invite you to a casual cookout. Bring a folding chair and we’ll see you at 1pm Saturday, July 1st. For the address and directions, please reach out to Alisa at firstname.lastname@example.org. At dad’s request, please do not send flowers.