This site is for family, friends, and colleagues of Avner Magen to post their thoughts and memories of him. Avner died in a climbing accident on May 29, 2010, in Alaska.

Avner was a beloved and devoted father, husband and son; a terrifically warm, funny, and energetic person; a brilliant and creative researcher; and a wonderful friend and colleague.

Please share your stories, memories and words of support by sending an email to You may also post comments to any entry. Visit this Photo Site for a photo memorial of Avner and his family and friends. Instructions for adding pictures appear next to the album.

More details appear on the Avner Magen Memorial page.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Michael Shapira

For some odd reason one of my most vivid memories of Avner
is him eating an apple. Well, this apple was sitting in the
fridge for some time then and there was something white that
spilled over it a while before and crusted, perhaps yogurt,
but it was the only thing that he could find in the fridge
at that late hour of a night shift in the army. He did that
with sort of a matter-of-factly attitude that he had, "this
will have to do and no need to think more about it." As I
recall, he was humming to himself while eating, returning to
his mathematical puzzle in the back pages of Scientifc
American. I don.t remember what he was humming, but I bet it
was David Bowie, or maybe the Sex Pistols -- he was
extremely fond of these two in those days -- go figure the
connecting thread. There was nothing about Avner that was a
cliche. He is probably the most original person I have ever
met. He didn't try to be this way, it just seemed to come
naturally to him doing whatever he found interesting, and
this included so may things, often so different.

I didn't know Avner the family man well, this came later,
but the one time I saw him with his family, I think it was
about three months after his first child was born, Ro'ee,
isn't it? Seeing you two together made me start thinking
about having kids, something that never crossed my mind
before. I remember him swinging you in a blanket and both of
you looked so content. You had a quiet confident smile on
your face, and I thought, wow, this looks so right. I know
it must be very hard for all of you, but from what I saw
back then, and from what I read here, I'm also sure that you
have something of him with you that will stay with you for

Daniela, my wife, knows this last story. I told her about it
a long time ago, before our daughter Amalia was born.

Our thoughts are with you.

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