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Clifford Scott "Cliff" Kaminsky

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Kaminsky, Clifford Scott "Cliff" (34)
On May 29, 2004, Cliff Kaminsky, a resident of Manhattan Beach and the beloved son of Howard Kaminsky, MD (Manhattan Beach and 29 Palms) and Marion Balsam, MD (Bethesda, MD), fell to his death while hiking near South Lake Tahoe; in circumstances that, even now, are difficult for all who loved him to grasp. Cliff is also survived by his brother, Ross Kaminsky and Ross's wife Kristen (Boulder), Joclyn Kaminsky Balanda, her husband John and their children Nick, Mike, and Janie (Cincinnati) and Marissa Kaminsky, MD (Manhattan). They recently all spent a joyful week together, celebrating Marissa's medical school graduation. His grandmother, Rosalie Balsam, also survives him. Cliff was born at the Naval Hospital Philadelphia, on July 23, 1969. He joined a Navy Family and saw the World. He completed his first trip around the world when he was five. Travel remained a passion for him throughout his life. His work took him around the country and around the world, friendships brought him to places like Croatia, London and Rio, adventure took him to India. He always tried to learn, with surprising success, the local language. Cliff was an acoustics engineer, an expert in sound and vibration. He served as Central Support Manager for the Austral-French ESI Group. In this capacity, he was one of the few who are qualified to present training programs for rocket scientists. His humanity, his heart and his soul overshadowed his scientific, engineering and computer skills, but the title "Central Support Manager" was a perfect description for him in all his activities. As a first love, Cliff had his music. He was a talented guitarist and songwriter, who played piano, drums and trumpet. For most visitors to his apartment, he seemed to live in a recording studio. He played a reguler gig at a hometown "hole-in-the-wall." He volunteered to teach guitar to troubled, institutionalized teenagers. He had numerous friends among the people who struggled in the music business he loved, and he was currently rehearsing with a new singing partner. Their first couple of tracks together sounded great and he was optimistic, as always, about his musical future. Although he came to it late, Cliff's passion and dedication was to Veganism and the protection of animals. His was a dedication based on an earned conviction about the relationship of Earth's inhabitants. For a long time, it was his job, as a volunteer worker, to answer the critical and challenging e-mails received by PETA. His replies were always respectful, insightful and thought provoking. He volunteered his time for Walks and the fund-raising activities of many other organizations. He focused his energies in the support of the Farm Sanctuary movement and helped organize and manage the operational details of its West Coast activities. He loved to visit the rescued animals at the Sanctuary sites. Cliff began his adult life's journey as an engineer and developer of computer software. Somewhere along the Way, perhaps while teaching, performing and organizing; this quiet, soft-spoken, introspective, unassuming young man blossomed. He shared his energy and affection without boundary and, as he evolved, his charismatic spirit came to be recognized by friends and associates, with admiration. For so many, he was more than a friend, he was a best friend; he was inspirational; he influenced the paths of many. He was a blossom plucked too soon, but his spirit will live within us forever. Burial was in Maryland on Tuesday. A Memorial Service will be held at the Manhattan Heights Auditorium, 1600 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, on Sunday, June 13, from 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Cliff would appreciate your support of Farm Sanctuary (farmsanctuary.org). For My Best Friend
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 11 to June 13, 2004
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