Bert Sugar service will be this Saturday

Bert Sugar used to crack that he gave wife Suzanne "the best 10 minutes of her life." The wisecracking author-editor-raconteur joined her on the rollercoaster that is marriage, with more ups than downs, for 51 years.

Suzanne Sugar was kind enough to quickly touch base with me early Monday afternoon, just a day after the stogie-puffing, fedora-wearing fight historian passed away from cardiac arrest following a battle with lung cancer, at a hospital near their Chappaqua home. "I'm in a little bit of shock," said Suzanne, her voice clear and strong.

She said she didn't have much time, as she was busy planning services. Bert's loads of pals and admirers should know that a service is set for Saturday, probably around 2 p.m., with details to come shortly.

Significant others of writers and other artistic types know that the artist can be something of a bear when in churn-it-out mode. Suzanne stood by her man during those times, and there were loads of them, as he put out over 80 books, and was always but always working on one, so she deserves an extra measure of gentle pity during this trying time.