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Hillary, Jordan, and Richard Viders (left to right)

Richard and Hillary with Jordan at his Bar Mitzvah.


Our community is deeply saddened by the untimely passing of twenty two year old Jordan Viders, the son of Hillary and Richard Viders.

At his memorial service we heard the following tribute to Jordan delivered by Hillary and a stirring poem sent by a dear friend and diving and Hollywood icon, Zale Parry.


Jan. 10, 2007

Our beloved Jordan,

We cherish every minute that we had with you from the day you were born.

We will always try to live up to your sweetness, caring and wisdom. Your beautiful hazel eyes will always be shining every where we turn and we know that they will always be watching over us and protecting us. Your presence was like an enormous hug that made everything right even when it seemed wrong.

You were giving and generous beyond belief: you embraced everybody that you knew, even as a child. Anyone that came to play with you in our house left with the toys that you would give them to keep.
You have given us more happiness and pride than anyone can ever know. You had your father’s sense of humor, friendly personality and optimism and your mother’s love of music, art, fashion, literature and creativity, plus dozens of other gifts that were uniquely your own. You learned to play trumpet and taught yourself guitar and keyboard. Your paintings, gourmet cooking and knowledge of wines astounded people.

Everyone knew that you were brilliant with computers and business technology and you had amazing organizational and leadership skills. In fact, you were a success at anything that you set your mind to. Your thirst for knowledge and your love of sharing knowledge that knowledge with others was limitless: you always offered to help anyone who needed your expertise, whether it was for finding bargains on Ebay, repairing people’s computers, procuring Cuban cigars, setting up a website for non-profit organizations or consulting on satellite encryption for the FBI. Nothing was ever too much of an imposition.

One of your greatest personal assets was your friendliness and poise. From the time you were a child, you loved to strike up a conversation with even the most accomplished professionals. The year you were 14 and we had reservations to go skiing in Vail you were recovering from a knee injury but insisted we go anyway because you knew how much we loved skiing and you always found fun things to do anywhere we traveled. You never complained once about your knee. In fact, by the second day, we found you cheerfully giving stock tips to the hotel managers and upgrading the hotel’s mainframe computer.

In your new apartment building, the Mariners, in Edgewater, New Jersey, where you had just taken an apartment, the management staff told us that you were the world’s best tenant and everyone from the management, maintenance crew and the other residents called you “the Mayor of the building.” We just learned that the entire building got together this week and planted 8 trees in Israel in your honor.

You were so neat and organized and were always focused on a career track. Who can forget when your third grade teacher asked every student in your class what they wanted to be when they grew up? Most responded predictably: “policeman,” “actor,” “model“, and the like. You, on the other hand, stunned everyone by declaring, without hesitation, “I want to be on the cover of Forbes Magazine by the time I am thirty”! You had what it takes and undoubtedly would have achieved that goal had you not been taken from us way too soon.
At age 11, you were the youngest student ever accepted at Columbia University’s advanced computer graphics program and we found out that a prerequisite was Calculus, (your class in Tenafly was only learning fractions,). Totally non-plused, you said, No Problem, Mom! You led me into the college book store, bought a Calculus For Dummies book, taught yourself Calculus in less than a week and wound up getting an A the course. You were always teaching yourself an amazing array of knowledge, and just last week surprised us by announcing that you were learning Mandarin, to help your business career down the line.

While in High School, you were chosen to represent the entire state of New Jersey in the National Student Leadership Program in Washington DC, where you met with Alan Greenspan, members of the Supreme Court and other dignitaries. You were so impressive, that the following year, you were invited back by the White House to represent the U.S. as an Ambassador of Young Business Students on a tour of China.

Everyone was in awe of your academic genius, but an equally special gift was your boundless love. You loved us both so much, far more than any child has ever loved his parents. You were dad’s best friend and loved to treat him to occasional dad and Jordan getaways. No matter how busy you were, you phoned dad several times a day just to see how his day was going and he called you as well. Dad always bragged to everyone how you were his best friend and right arm.
You also did everything you could to make my life as enjoyable as possible, even thoughtful little gestures things like turning on the heat in the hall way every morning before I awoke up so I wouldn’t be chilly on my way to breakfast. Our mommy–Jordan trips were filled will hugs and hilarity, whether it was a day trip to the Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Opera, or a week-long jaunt in the Monte Carlo where you helped navigate that insanely winding mountain road to Italy. Since you were five years old, every time it was my birthday, you would save up your allowance to send me a corsage and take me to a fabulous restaurant, insisting that the two of us dressed up to the nines. You even flew in from college in Indiana every March for our special mommy-Jordan birth tradition and promised me that wherever you or I were in the world on March 22, you would meet me to take me out for my birthday. It shatters my heart to know that we can never have those marvelous birthday celebrations again.

You even loved our pets with all of your heart. Our sheepdog, Oreo has been sitting outside your room looking for you all week. You had so much love to give, we can only imagine what an incredible father and husband you would have been.

We tried to give you everything that we could, not just material things, but values and a genuine love of humanity. And no matter how much we gave you, you were never spoiled and appreciated everything. Even as a young adult, literally every single time we would go out for a meal, even breakfast at a local diner, afterwards you would always say, “Thanks mom and dad.”

A light has gone out in our hearts and it will never burn as brilliantly again. But every day and everywhere we go, we will have a treasure trove of memories of our years with you. We will never forget the laughter, the joy, and the indelible love that we shared as a family. Years from now, I’ll still see your soft little baby hand reaching up for my hand and saying, “I love you so much mommy, I’m glad we were born together.” Dad and I will never forget our wonderful family trips far and near and the many family and neighbors get-togethers, all of which were made so much more special because you were part of them.

Goodbye, our sweet, beautiful child, the light of our lives.
We know you are in heaven, shaking hands with everyone and probably repairing computers and creating a website.

Love Forever,
Mom and Dad


I'll lend you for a little time
A Child of Mine, he said
For you to love the while he lives
And mourn for when he's dead.

It may be six or seven years
Or twenty two or three
But will you, 'til I call him back.
Take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down here
I want this child to learn.

I've looked this wide world over
In search of teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd Life's lanes
I have chosen you.

Now will you give him all your love 
Nor think the labor vain
And hate me when I come to call
To take him back again.

I fancy that I heard them say:
Dear Lord, thy will be done.
For all the joy this child will bring
The risk of grief we'll run.

We'll shelter him with tenderness
We'll love him while we may
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.

And should the Angels call for him
Much sooner than we planned
We'll brave the bitter grief that came
And try to understand.