He walked fast, talked fast, did everything fast. Jason Sheftell was a human whirlwind, racing through each day at 100 mph, savoring every minute of his existence.
People like that usually have time for no one. Yet, Jason had time for everyone. And that is why, after news spread of his passing on Monday, the outpouring of emotion on social media was so profound, the grief so deep.
Jason, a popular, well-respected journalist and loving brother and son, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment.
He was 46.
Raised in Stamford, Jason was a 1985 graduate of Stamford H.S. and 1989 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied European History.
After living in Paris, he returned to the U.S. and received a master's in American and United States Studies form the University of Alabama in 1997.
His ascent in journalism began with a writing position at Cigar Aficionado magazine and accelerated after he joined the New York Daily News in 2007.
Jason was the News' real-estate reporter and editor, known for his boundless enthusiasm and personal touch.
"To describe Jason as a consummate professional would be an understatement not only to his talents as a journalist but also as a person," Colin Myler, editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, said in an E-mail to the staff.
"He was probably the most popular guy in the newsroom – everybody loved him because he was always there when you needed him."
Friends, co-workers and members of the real-estate community flooded Twitter and Facebook with memories of Jason in the hours after his passing. Many of those tributes mentioned his warmth and intelligence along with his love for journalism and for New York City.
Only his closest friends and relatives, however, knew the true depth of Jason's compassion, how loyal he was as a brother, how devoted he was as a son.
Jason's parents were Karen Sheftell, a real-estate broker in Stamford, and the late Fred Sheftell, a renowned psychiatrist, headache specialist and musician. His sister, Lauren, who also grew up in Stamford, now lives in Los Angeles.
In April 2011, Fred died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Jason became a rock for his mother, calling her daily and seeing her often despite usually working seven days a week.
Karen offered perhaps the best description of her son, calling him, "a beacon of light."
Jason is also survived by his grandmother Wilma, his uncle Steven, aunt Vincenza, along with their children Justin and Melanie; his uncles and their wives, Edward and Linda Rosenthal, David and Jane Rosenthal, and their children, Ken, Julie, Daniel and Rebecca. He also was like an uncle to his cousins' children, Sam, Hannah and Sarah Rosenthal; Jon and Simon Rosenthal; Ike and Cyrus Rosenthal; and Darby, Emily and Max Sale.
Services will be held at Temple Beth El, 350 Roxbury Road, Stamford, CT on Thursday, June 20 at 2 p.m.