Last night (Friday, February 21, 2020) at 11:12 p.m., I received a text message that I have been dreading.

It was notification that a great friend, who years ago I nicknamed “The Teacher” had passed away.

Not only was “The Teacher” a great, loyal and trusted friend, she was perhaps the most loyal and faithful listener of the “Hurley in the Morning” program in history.

“The Teacher” was one of the most unselfish people that I have ever known and I’ve been honored to call her friend.

Where ever she went, she found a way to promote our brand. People like this are so rare and special.

She was also so nice and supportive of my family. Every chance she got, she would spoil our Grandson, Noah.

Every year, when Florida’s precious Honeybell Orange crop would perfectly ripen, “The Teacher” would thoughtfully have a box shipped to our home.

These oranges only come out for such a limited window each year. Straight from the grove, right after they are picked, they are shipped. There was nothing like them.

These are just a few of the thoughtful touches that “The Teacher” would do. She was a most giving and unselfish person in countless ways.

She was also a daily listener and prolific caller to the “Hurley in the Morning” program. She was also very thoughtful and unselfish in this regard.

She strategically balanced the pace of her call-in habits; where she often would say that she wanted to call-in every day, but, that she didn’t want to take time away from other callers.

“The Teacher” was unselfish in every way.

She was a beloved individual. Fellow listeners also fell in love with “The Teacher.” You couldn’t help it.

She made “everything” about others. Never about herself.

Margie and all of our children absolutely adored “The Teacher.” And, she loved them.

I am going to miss her beyond words.

When you do two-way talk radio the right way, you become a family.

Our family lost a Matriarch last night. She is irreplaceable. Rarely, will you ever have the privilege to meet and befriend such a pure, good and decent person.

This loss is incalculable. Countless times, if “The Teacher” found out that someone was down or was the victim of bad news; she would leap to come on-air and send them encouraging words of comfort.

I feel like I have lost a member of my immediate family. Because that’s the special place that “The Teacher” has held in my heart.

I’m going to reveal a secret at the time of her passing. “The Teacher” and I made a deal together years ago. I promised not to reveal her name to our audience of what I call “Guest Listeners.”

For the first time ever, I’m going to tell you that “The Teacher’s” real name was Joyce Opack Rubenstein.

And, she’s one of the most beautiful and giving people to ever walk the face of this Earth.

The passing of special people in my life is my “Achilles Heal.” I hate it. And, I’m very bad at coping with it.

And, “practice” doesn’t make it perfect. I’ve had a lot of practice at it during my lifetime. I’m still just as “bad” at it.

Joyce would often say on-air that “you created me. You have given me my voice.”

The truth is, that it was her beautiful voice that provided aid and comfort to so many.

I loved “The Teacher” and today, my heart is broken.

Together, let’s band together to heal each other. “The Teacher” would want us to ... and, she would make it all about us, even at the time of her own death.

Her pain is gone. God has welcomed her to his Kingdom with open arms. May “The Teacher” Rest In Peace.

We love you, we will miss you and we will remember to remember you for the rest of our lives.

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