Obituary for Yosef Ben David

(Writing my own as I have no family left to write one for me when I’m gone)

Yosef was born in April 1964 in Louisville, Kentucky. Unknown to him until he was 13-years-old the man named Charles Hall who had been entered on his birth certificate as his father, was indeed, not his biological father, but his first stepfather his mother had married hastily after divorcing her husband of two years, David Kirchner. She never disclosed her pregnancy at the time of her divorce from David Kirchner.

Later in life after meeting his real father David, Yosef was renamed after his father’s father who had since passed away in 1974. Yosef’s paternal grandmother, the former Nora Margaret Kestler, passed away in 1981. Yosef never had to chance to meet those grandparents.

Yosef is proceeded in death by his mother the former Virginia Lee Hall in 1993 and his father David Ryan Kirchner in 2005. His maternal grandmother whom he was very close, the former Mary Katherine Horstmann. passed in 2004. As his grandfather Odes Hall has passed in 1947 Yosef never knew him, but his grandmother had remarried and Yosef grew up knowing Herman Washburn the town dentist of La Grange, Kentucky as his grandfather.

Also proceeding Yosef in death of his immediately family is a half brother John Russel Gould, and a half sister Laura Rene Hall.

Yosef spent much of his formative years growing up on his grandparents 20-acre farm in La Grange, Kentucky where he helped raise beef cattle, and chickens. Yosef recalled, “There was never much time to be idle on the farm. There as always some fence line that needed repairing to keep the cattle from escaping and outside of the winter months there was always the huge vegetable garden.” Anytime the weather was nice was a time to go fishing in the pond or the lake on the farm. In July it was time to comb the countryside picking blackberries. Once the blackberry harvesting was done the garden would begin producing and canning and freezing of vegetables and fruit from the fruit tree’s would take place right on up till the first hard freezes of fall.

In 1977 at age 13 Yosef met the girl to whom he’d eventually become engaged to that was to become his wife, Arlene Phyllis Hogan. Phyllis and Yosef’s plans hit a bump in the road though a couple years later when Yosef’s mother remarried and decided to move the family to Florida. Yosef had assured Phyllis he would return for her at age 18 when they could be married and sure enough in April of 1982 Yosef returned to Kentucky on the eve of his 18th birthday to live with his grandmother. Yosef was looking forward to being reunited with Phyllis and planning a wedding. At the church he and his grandmother attended Yosef met a lot more of his family relations. It was just a small country church, but Yosef knew it would be the perfect eventual place for his wedding to Phyllis.

Within a month of Yosef’s return to Kentucky his heart was broken and all his hopes were dashed. Phyllis ran off and married another guy in the month of May. Yosef’s life would never be the same. The girl he’d loved with all his heart and soul was gone and all Yosef was left with was a lot of unanswered questions, and of course, a badly broken heart.

Yosef couldn’t bear to remain in Kentucky and so he returned to Florida hoping his friends would see him through this dark night of the soul. Yosef began experimenting with alcohol and marijuana during his last year of high school to escape the deep pain of a life that no longer seemed to have any direction without the girl he loved. His high school friends were all consumed with parties and drinking and then there was the Friday night Midnight movie called Rocky Horror Picture Show that was popular among teens who were exploring their sexuality. This weekly habit became a way for Yosef to enter an alternative lifestyle that insured no other woman would ever take the place of only girl he’d ever love. During this time Yosef was arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. There were a couple hospitalizations for suicide attempts. Yosef was lucky to have survived this dark time in his life and manage to graduate from high school.

Times does not heal all wounds, but as the years slowly past Yosef got the bleeding to stop, and worked to get his life back on track and make something out of himself. Inspired by his grandmother he went to nursing school which became helpful during the declining years preceding his grandmother’s passing. After her passing Yosef returned to school again to become a Psychologist.

In 2007 Phyllis contacted Yosef again. Yosef recounted, “She spoke rather timidly at first, but soon opened up about the lazy, no good, and abusive man she had married. She told of how he wouldn’t work a job so she worked to support them as a gemologist at various jewelry stores wherever they would move to next. She said he did mow peoples lawns for some extra cash, but that was about all he did. He’d never allow her to have her own automobile and he’d drive her to work and pick her up everyday. She was never allowed to leave her work premises, not even to take a lunch break with co-workers at a cafĂ© just across the parking lot from her employment. The shades always had to be pulled in the home so nobody could look in the windows at her, and she could only have her hair cut by her own brother at the salon he owned, on Sunday’s when the salon was closed to the public and no lights were allowed to be turned on to attract attention to her. Phyllis had a co-worker named Donna who also revealed a lot of what Phyllis endured in her abusive marriage. What a horrible life Phyllis had gotten herself into with the creep she married. She obviously regretted her mistake, but she was stuck. I tried to see if she had the courage to leave him, but she was afraid he’d kill her if she ever tried. That’s when she became uncomfortable talking to me and like many years ago she abruptly abandoned me once again and I haven’t heard from her since 2008.”

To be continued….