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Tufts Grad, Family Mourned

Tufts Grad, Family MournedEdward Zalaznick – remembered as a ‘marvelous husband and father’ – and 10 members of his family were killed when their Paris-bound plane crashed into the Red Sea. Paris.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [01.12.04] Just three days into the new year, 1983 Tufts graduate Edward Zalaznick and 10 members of his family were tragically killed when their flight crashed into the Red Sea. Those who knew Zalaznick praised his many gifts - from his talents as an accomplished attorney to his skills as an artist - yet they remember him most for his passion for life.

"He was the wisest, most gentle, most caring person," Zalaznick's mother, Gilda, told the New York Daily News. "He was very intelligent but he never showed off. He could have been a fine artist - and always continued painting, until the day he died."

On Jan. 3, Zalaznick and his family were on board a Paris-bound Boeing 737 en route from Egypt. The flight crashed over the Red Sea, killing all 135 passengers.

"The crash wiped out three generations of the family, including Edward Zalaznick, his French-born wife, Isabelle Fouchard, and their sons David, 12, and Thomas, 6," reported the Daily News. "Also killed were Fouchard's parents, brother, sister-in-law and two young nephews."

The 42-year-old - who graduated sum cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts - was remembered as a terrific husband and father who made friends wherever he went.

"My son had more friends than anyone I've ever heard of, from all different walks of life, from all different countries," Gilda Zalaznick said in an interview with the Greenwich Time. "He was astonishing."

Maria Behan - who met Zalaznick in high school - shared a similar sentiment. When she turned 40, Zalaznick, then living in Paris, arranged a conference call so her closest high school friends could celebrate her birthday with her.

"That was the kind of thing that Ed would do. He was just so thoughtful," she told the newspaper. "He was amazing, really one of the finest people I've ever known. Just so joyful, and perceptive and hilarious ... He put the kind of energy into living that we all say we'll do."

Robert Keiser - who lived next door to the Zalaznicks for nearly 20 years in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, said he considered them as family.

"It wasn't just that these were neighbors that we knew - they were great friends," Keiser said. "I don't know how to describe it better... How do you describe people that you love and lost?"

After graduating from Tufts in 1983, Zalaznick attended law school at New York University, where he met his wife. Zalaznick's younger brother, Brian - who also attended Tufts - told The New York Times that he'd never seen his brother so immediately wrapped up in a woman.

"She thought he was this cool New Yorker and he thought she was this fabulous sexy French babe," he told the Times.

They were married several years later in what was described as a story-book wedding, which included an impromptu soccer match pitting the French against the Americans.

"It was knock-down, drag-out soccer," Zalaznick's sister, Dana Grossman, told the Times. "The French won, I have to admit."

That zest for life and sense of adventure was ever-present in Zalaznick's life, friends and family said, even in his final days.

"[On Jan.1,] they had gotten up in the middle of the night and climbed to the top of Mt. Sinai so they can see the sunrise," Zalaznick's mother told the Greenwich Time, describing her last phone call with her son. "Isabelle was worried the children wouldn't be able to make it to the top, but they scrambled all the way up to the top. And they all said it was absolutely incredible.

According to the Greenwich Time, charitable contributions may be sent to the Gellin Foundation, which was founded by Zalaznick's grandparents and provides money to various charities, including those that serve people with HIV/AIDS, children with illnesses and battered women. Zalaznick was a trustee of the foundation. Memorial donations may be sent to the Gellin Foundation Inc., 29 Beechcroft Road, Greenwich, CT, 06830; or to a charity of one's choice.

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