The DEVONtechnologies Blog

Happy 98th Birthday, Sam

January 9, 2020 — Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann

A very special Christmas present for us was a customer support email that we received just before the holidays. It came from our user Sam Ginsberg in Australia who just turned 98.

With tongue-in-cheek he writes: "I started this e-mail on my birthday. I am now 98 years old and my family was making a big fuss of the occasion." Sam became our customer in 2010 when he was 89 years old and wanted to use DEVONthink to go paperless. No wonder we became curious and asked him if we could share a little bit of his amazing life story. And here it is.

I started this e-mail on my birthday. I am now 98 years old and my family was making a big fuss of the occasion.

Sam is in the 1st year of his medical studies at the University of Cape Town in 1939 when the Second World War breaks out. He leaves university in 1940 to volunteer for active service and returns in 1945 after having served in three campaigns as a driver, tank gunner, and finally section leader of infantry.

In 1946 Sam starts studying medicine again and just at the beginning of his final year, in December 1949, he marries Naomi. Sam: "Luckily the university was very good to ex-volunteers and gave us accommodation. Naomi was a secretary, not earning much, and I was living on a loan from the government. What a cheek we had!" Naomi accompanies him for 68 years.

Naomi was a secretary, not earning much, and I was living on a loan from the government. What a cheek we had!

Sam and Naomi have three daughters who become an emergency physician, principal of a high school (promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and a nurse now working as Senior Research Assistant for an international company. In 1997, when Sam is 76 years old, he and Naomi move back to the mainland. Sam loses his darling wife in 2017 and today lives in a grannie flat on his eldest daughter's property, writing his autobiography.

"I love my iMac and I am working towards a paperless office, hence my interest in your software. Unfortunately, I was very ill after the loss of my spouse of 68 years, and I am preparing for more surgery to fix my main problem." So unfortunately Sam hasn’t done as much as he would have liked.

I love my iMac and I'm working towards a paperless office.

Sam loves classical music and owns 150 CDs. His favorite recordings are those of Deutsche Grammophon.

Thank you very much, Sam, for sharing these few details of your fascinating life story. We are glad that our software is a bit of a help for your undertaking of writing your autobiography and we're already looking forward to hearing and reading more from you in the future.