My dear friend Nagib,
Despite knowing of your health tribulations, that you had so bravely battled and continuously overcame (with barely a complaint), it actually makes it all the harder for me to accept that you are no longer with us.
Chess Master (and mentor), top-notch table tennis tournament player, pet lover, deep spiritualist (especially India-related), "Gilligan Island" fan, good friend, solid debater and philosopher, subtly sarcastic, beloved teacher and administrator, caring son and brother, and, far from least, beloved soulmate to Sharon. All who knew you well, will agree these are quite accurate ways to describe the person we were all honored to know.
Some of my happiest personal memories, and that I will always carry with me, are playing table tennis with you in the early 1980's, whether playing casual games at the Lost Battalion Hall near your home, or playing competitively on the St. John's club team in the Greater N.Y. Table Tennis League. We also had great times going away to the Concord Hotel Tournament, in the Catskills, and playing doubles together at the U.S. Open, held at Princeton, and afterwards being completely awestruck, while getting to watch the amazing Chinese men's national team members playing unreal exhibition games against one another, and sitting less than 40 feet away!
Although you were some years ahead of me at St. John's, I still remember you speaking very fondly of your times there and your closest friends, among them: Joe Stortle, Ron Chin, brothers John & Pat McKeon, as well as Dave Pankaj, Brian McGowan and George Abdelsayed, all three fine table tennis players in their own right.
After having read the truly heartfelt and grateful condolences from your students and colleagues alike, it reminded me of a very powerful quote from my favorite (and to me, the most emotional) of all the "Twilight Zone" episodes. In the episode, about an aging high school boarding school teacher, titled "The Changing of the Guard", the quote reads: "Be ashamed to die, until you have won some victory for humanity.". Nagib, through your innumerable good works and acts of kindness towards your students, you have clearly won Many, Many Victories for Humanity and, as those students continue to pass along their own future acts of kindness on to others, your memory will, most rightfully, live on forever.
Nagib, my friend, rest in much deserved Love and Peace.