#OceanLoveEarl: RIP Earl Kanter, MD – 12/23/21 – 6/23/13 | Beth's Blog

#OceanLoveEarl: RIP Earl Kanter, MD – 12/23/21 – 6/23/13


My Dad with his Greg Noll Surfboard with me and my brother

RIP:  Earl Kanter, MD
Love Never Dies
December 23,  1921 – June 23, 2013

After a long and painful battle with Parkinson’s disease, my father passed away peacefully this week.  While I feel a profound sense of loss, what gives me comfort is that I had a remarkable father in so many ways.  I’m left with one final life lesson from him:  love never dies. His spirit, intelligence, joy of life, sense of humor, and wisdom will always be with me and our family.


My father had a deep-seated love of the ocean and was a life guard for 15 years for the Ventnor City Beach Patrol.  He was a swimmer in college and high school and was an accomplished competitive swimmer.    This honed his appetite for frolicking in the hurricane swells that sweep the ocean in late summer.    He introduced surfing to the Jersey Shore in the 1960’s – He was an early adopter, teaching himself how to surf and owned the first  Greg Noll surfboard.  In an article about his surfing in the local newspaper, he said, “I like the thrill of riding a large waves – it’s like climbing Mount Everest.”

Dad’s Beach

To honor my Dad’s memory and his love of the ocean, I am  raising money for Surfrider Foundation in his memory to support their ocean conservation efforts.   We will also adopt the beach at Brunswick Avenue in his memory.

My love for my Dad will never die. And his love for ocean will live on through the work of Surfrider Foundation.

Please donate to SurfRider Foundation in his memory.

Tribute to My Dad

With 6 out 7 grandchildren

He loved my Mom, his four children, and  7 grandchildren dearly.   When he was almost 80, he and my mother accompanied my husband and I to Cambodia to adopt our first child, Harry.    He gave Harry his first bath and soothed  him by holding him and dancing around singing “I’m Just Wild About Harry” that I captured my first digital camera.   Our family was blessed by an elder monk who asked my father his age and bowed to him when he learned my Dad was older.


My father was an OB-GYN in Margate, NJ for many years.  He brought much joy to many families by delivering their babies.  He was known for his compassion, awesome bedside manner, humor and always there for his patients.   He taught me his strong work ethic, giving back, and that job is not just a job but can be a calling.

I feel lucky to have been able to spend a few weeks with him this month towards the end of his life, although my mother and sister have done all the heavy lifting for his care during the past couple of years.   He told me to go back to California and not to neglect my family or work.

He chose OB medical specialty because he wanted an area of medicine that was joyful and happy – despite the long and unpredictable hours. He was an early adopter of wearing  “beeper technology”  in the late 60’s.   Our family nick-named the beeper “ruin the day machine” because whenever it beeped it meant that he had to drop everything and rush to the hospital to deliver a baby.

When I was 5 years old, I asked him “Where do babies come from?”   He pulled out a medical film strip and his Bell and Howe projector and gave me a detailed scientific lecture to answer the question.   I remember taking notes and drawings.  Later I  shared my learning with the neighborhood kids which prompted phone calls to my parents.

He loved gadgets and technology, especially computers, cameras, and the Internet.    His first computer was an Apple IIE in 1980.   He was an early adopter of SKYPE.  One of my most memorable Skype calls was when I had forgot to turn switch off SKYPE during a presentation to health care nonprofits about social media in 2007.  Participants, who were in the 60s and 70s were protesting they were “too old,” when my Dad’s SKYPE profile showed up on the screen.  I told them that my Dad was almost 90 and if he can use the Internet, they can too!

Even at age 90, he was wanted to learn new computer tricks and was open to “reverse” mentoring from his grandson, Harry.   During his  last month,  I entertained him by showing him how to ask Siri silly questions.   He suggested an updated plot for Twilight Zone episode “The Long Distance Call” where a young boy talks to his deceased grandmother on a toy phone.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Distance_Call)   We laughed together as I said I could always reach him through Siri.

The last good photo we took together was as “selfie,” although in 1963 we took one together using his Minox camera.

He was interested in my work used to say, “My daughter the blogger.” He wanted to learn how to blog.  He started his own blog, although short-lived, called “My Name Is Earl”  Here a series of videos of the conversations we had about learning how to blog.

Two weeks ago, I got to share with him the  news that my second book, made the finals of the Terry McAdam award.


I’m metabolizing my grief my doing this online fundraiser in his memory to raise money for ocean conservation for SurfRider Foundation as well as do a virtual paddle out via Twitter hashtag #OceanLoveEarl on July 3rd. We will adopt the beach where he surfed in his name.

I will be taking a short break from blogging except for reminders about the virtual paddle out and fundraiser. At some point, I will share with you some lessons learned about online fundraising, hope you will help me celebrate my father’s memory.

Thank you.

55 Responses

  1. My sympathies to you and your family, Beth. How wonderful to have had such a close relationship with your Dad and to always have the memories of his conversations, love and hunger for learning.

  2. rebecca krause-hardie says:

    Beautiful Beth! What a lovely man….

  3. Dana Nelson says:

    I am sorry for your loss Beth. What a wonderful blog post about your father Earl. I LOVE the photos of him. And the selfies of you and him from new tech and old. He is so proud of you and his family. And the story about how you shared the details of babies being made will make me laugh for a long time to come. Hold him in your heart. Thinking of you.

  4. Beth says:

    Dana: Thanks so much and running this online fundraiser on the Razoo process and virtual paddle out helps me through the grief process while giving back to nonprofits …..

  5. Beth – I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing memories of your father. He sounds like a truly remarkable man who made the world a better place. I lost my 96-year-old father in January, and he was also an early adopter and an amazing man. We are so fortunate to have them as fathers. As you say, their love will never die.

  6. Betsy Fader says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to your father! What a generous, compassionate man he was. His legacy lives on in you, Beth, and through the work YOU do that touches so many lives. Thank you for sharing this post. (…and also for the information regarding the Surfrider fund. I would be pleased to contribute.)

  7. Beth says:

    Heather: I’m so sorry to hear about your loss – it is very difficult … thanks for your kind comment.

  8. Beth says:

    Betsy – thank you

  9. Susan says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man! Thank you for sharing such a private event with all of us who admire you so much, Beth.

  10. marian casey says:

    What a wonderful and heartfelt tribute to your father. He gave new meaning to the term “live your life” especially the premise that life is about continuing to learn.
    My father, Jack Casey, died a few years back and he was also a “shining star” in many people’s lives. It took me awhile to adjust to my grief (it really never goes away, just settles into a new form) to really understand that “love never dies”. Today, I see his love and verve for life coming out in me and my children.
    It’s a huge loss and it will take time for you to learn life without him. My thoughts are with you. Marian C

  11. On behalf of everyone at GuideStar, we’re so sorry for your loss, Beth. Your father was inspirational and we all had a good laugh – and cry – reading your post. Thanks for sharing him with us.

  12. Denise says:

    No wonder you’re so awesome, Beth. Your dad is an awesome person. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  13. Beautiful tribute, full of love and fun. So sorry for your loss.

  14. Beautiful and Brilliant Beth,
    Your amazing, giving, loving, exceptional father lives on through his extraordinary daughter: you. I can see his radiant pride in the photos in your post and the way he speaks so proudly of what you are uniquely giving to our world. Having an angel mother myself (who has greeted your angel father with immense love in heaven), I know that his glorious spirit will only continue to shine light, generosity, and inspiration to our world through your unique intellectual, personal, and spiritual contributions to humanity. Tis an honour to know your father’s beautiful, brilliant daughter – and collaborating with you is a joy and privilege. You have my love, comfort and support, Laura A-A

  15. Beth says:

    Laura: Thank you so much for your kind words. I know my Dad’s spirit is free and he is frolicking in the hurricane swells once again. He passed on the eve of the Super Moon which brings bigger waves …


  16. Thanks, Beth. This is a lovely tribute to your dad. It helps explain your interest and skill in social media and how you like to share your knowledge. He clearly set a wonderful example for you, as you do for us in the nonprofit social media world.

  17. My father was a doctor too and in his honor I am launching a nonprofit advocating for primary care and its practitioners.

    My deepest condolences. I know you made him very proud.

  18. Danielle says:

    Wishing your father a beautiful journey as he continues beyond this world.

  19. Beth says:

    Danielle: Thank you – one thing I didn’t mention – there was so much he did in his life. But after he retired as a OB-GYN, he volunteered his time on different Native American reservations in New Mexico and Arizona – teaching doctors baby delivery techniques.

  20. Beth says:

    Susan, what a beautiful gesture.

  21. Ben Mangan says:

    This is such a beautiful, thoughtful tribute. I really enjoyed learning about your dad’s rich, wonderful life. Thanks for sharing these stories, and your voice, with us.

  22. So much so much love, Beth. I’m in both tears and smiles for all you shared as well as not knowing what else to say. Peace be with you in the time of loss. Thank for sharing your Dad’s stories

  23. A lovely tribute.
    Glad you’re taking some time out.
    My very best wishes at this time


  24. Caoileann Appleby says:

    What an absolutely lovely tribute to your father – he sounds like a wonderful man who left the world better than he found it.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

  25. Beth says:

    @cogdog blog – your cookie love was the inspiration …

  26. Linda says:

    Sorry for your loss. Hoping your memories, your efforts to memorialize your dad, your friends and family, and the scores of people you’ve helped professionally with your blog (which includes me and my staff) can help comfort you.

  27. What a lovely tribute to your Dad, Beth and what a wonderful man he was. He seemed to have a remarkable life and now I understand where you get your passion. There is never a good time in life to lose a parent as it strikes as our own mortality and is such a person profound loss. Wishing you and your family much peace as you heal your broken hearts.

  28. Suebob says:

    You captured so much about your father. I can tell you are proud of him, and he certainly must have been very, very proud of you. I would not rule out a Skype call from him.

  29. Adene Sacks says:

    Beth: My thoughts are with you as you navigate this loss. Thank you for allowing us to share in your tribute to your dad. Best, Adene

  30. Peggy says:

    A life well-lived and beautifully recounted. That is an encouragement for all of us to … “do likewise” — life purposefully and celebrate the legacy we receive. Bless you as you continue to reflect on the power that comes from being loved so deeply by parents like Earl.

  31. Ore says:

    Hello Beth, I am very sorry to hear about your father. This is a poignant tribute that you have written in his memory. It seemed like he lived a rich and fulfilling life, which is a wonderful legacy that he left you.

  32. Janice Pasola says:

    Hi Beth!! God Bless you all. I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Looks like he was just as spunky as ever in his old age. Our parents were friends back in the day. I remember specifically when your youngest baby sister was born. If I’m not mistaken she had beautiful red hair.

    My Mother Ruth Pasola died 18 years ago. Lou is 90 and living with us in Berkeley Springs WV.
    Please give your Mom our condolences and the rest of the family.
    Janice Pasola

  33. Beth says:

    Janice: Thanks for leaving a comment. I showed it to my Mom and she appreciated it. Thank you again.

  34. Mazarine says:

    Dear Beth,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I think you are doing the right thing by talking about all of the memories your dad made with you, and celebrating his life, through these pictures and videos and stories. I know it must have been hard to write this post. But I’m so glad you did.

    Your dad Earl sounds like the most incredible man, who gave back to the world in so many ways. You can tell his grandchildren really loved him too. And the fact that he was supportive of your career and open to learning how to be a part of the blogging world really shows he was not just a dad, but a friend too.

    What a remarkable person. I can see where you get your ability to always try new things! Thank you for letting us meet him this way.



  35. Hi Beth–so sorry about your loss but loved reading about your dad and seeing those Ventnor/Margate pictures.

    My great aunt was a very different kind of doctor in Ventnor (on Atlantic Ave, near border w/Margate) from the 1930s to around 1970: Dr. Isabel Wilcox. She was an osteopathic md and my family visited her every summer in the 1960s.

    My favorite summer, though, was as a college junior I got to spend all 3 months with her while I worked on the AC boardwalk. Loved that life–it was so hard to go back to school!
    Lost my dad, a wonderful history professor, to Parkinson’s in 1996–the acute pain of missing him went away but I still think of him most days.

    I think not having him around actually made me remember more times together than I had previously.

    Enjoy your blog,

    much sympathy

    Barbara Duncan

  36. Dear Beth,

    My condolences. Even though we all go through the loss of our parents, it’s still really hard. My Dad passed away this year too, at 87, after battling multiple myeloma. He was also a doc, and loved to swim and waterski. Your tribute and memories are so lovely, and they’re making me tear up a bit thinking of both our Dads.

    No one loves a daughter quite as unconditionally like a dad. It’s simply irreplaceable. Luckily, we have our memories and they someone become warmer and warmer over time. Love never dies, indeed. The ember continues to burn and glow — casting light and warmth on all within its reach.

    Thanks so much for sharing your Dad’s light with all of us. May his memory be for a blessing.

    Warm regards, Claire

  37. Jenny Luca says:

    A beautiful tribute to your Dad, Beth. Thank you for sharing this with us. My thoughts are with you.

  38. Beth says:

    Claire: Thank you for your lovely note – sorry for your loss. Hugs

  39. Beth says:

    Barbara: Thanks for sharing your memory of Margate and Ventor and your Dad. Love never dies!

  40. Patricia says:

    Beth, I follow you on Twitter and noticed your tweet. I am so sorry that you lost your father. He seemed like a great man in so many ways. Just thought I’d write and say so.

    I used to go to Ocean City, Ventnor and Cape May for holidays as a kid. Your posts and photos bring back memories of my own father.

    take care!

  41. Thank you Beth for this beautiful tribute to you dad. My heart goes out to you and your family. I loved the ocean memories. My dad now 96 met my mom 94 at Virginia Beach and we have lived all of our lives by the water of many different coasts. Thank you for helping all of us appreciate the ocean, our families and your amazing father.
    Love and hugs.

  42. Michelle R-R says:

    Your dad was amazing! Thanks for sharing his story with as and his many accomplishments, including being a great father. How lucky you all are to have had him in your lives. I grew up on Cape Cod and now live in Seattle, where I am in, near or looking out at the ocean every single day. And every day consider myself blessed to be able to do so.

    Good luck with this fantastic project, it is a perfect way to honor him and I bet he would be really proud.

  43. […] Read Kanter’s possess relocating reverence on her blog here. […]

  44. Dave says:

    Very sorry for your loss Beth. What a wonderful tribute to your Father. My thoughts are with you.

  45. What an amazing and awesome story about your Father. It moved me. Beth, I have a favourite poem when people pass away and I have taken liberty to add something for you here at the end. I am sure the author wouldnt have minded for this occassion. I lost 5 family members in 5 years and I seek comfort in this poem when I read it. I hope you do too. BIG Blessing to you and your family!

    I Did Not Die
    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow;
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
    I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.

    When you awaken in the morning’s hush.
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft star that shines at night.
    {I am the smell and force of the Ocean Swell}
    Do not stand at my grave and cry.
    I am not there;
    I did not die.

    1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

  46. Beth, I don’t know you personally but just had to write to say what a lovely tribute to your father. I lost my own Dad, at the age of almost 99, two years ago now. My Dad too loved the water, but what he loved most was his family. I think our fathers would have liked each other. Condolences to you and your family.

  47. Brooke Smith says:

    Beth – what a beautiful tribute. I loved learning about your Dad – what a remarkable person! I can see more about how and why you became amazing too. Thanks too for the contributions to Surfrider, it sounds like a perfect fit. I hope you’re managing this unmanageable period well.

  48. Lee says:

    Dear Beth:
    What a wonderful tribute. I understand the pain of the loss of your dad, I lost mine in July 2007, and it still hurts. Yet I realized that I was smiling all through reading your tribute because of the love you shared and the honor you created in his memory reminds us that we can always enjoy thoughts of our times together and feel pride in having shared life together. I felt that and it made me smile in empathy, understanding and compassion. Your need for solace is understood and essential to healing. God Bless.

  49. Mary Anne says:

    My thoughts are with you and your family on your loss. What a lovely way to capture who your dad was and honor that. Well done. He would be touched and proud of you again.
    Mary Anne