As the world continues to mourn the death of Leonard Nimoy, his grandchildren Morgan Pearson, 36, Alex Schwartz, 30, Dani Schwartz, 25, Maddy Nimoy, 24, Spencer Schwartz, 23, and Jonah Nimoy, 22, remember the man they called “Poppi” in a tribute written exclusively for PEOPLE:
He was a renaissance man. He knew how to do everything from flying a plane to fixing a vacuum to setting up aquariums. Our favorite memory is when he would drive us around on his boat on Lake Tahoe every summer.
He would let us each drive the boat, with him right next to us if something went wrong. He would take us river rafting where the ride was so bumpy everyone kept falling out of the boat, but Poppi kept us all safe and kept us cracking up the entire time.
He wasn’t a huge talker, but he always knew what to say and told us countless stories. He spoke the most about life as an actor before Spock than life in Hollywood. He told us how he didn’t have a job that lasted longer than a week before Star Trek. He had an unbelievable memory.
Within his home, there wasn’t memorabilia everywhere except for in his office. That is where his work memories live. But one of our last conversations with him was him telling us all about directing 3 Men and a Baby. He told us stories we had never heard before about the making of that movie. He was cracking all five of us up.
It makes us feel proud that he was so beloved by his peers. There has been an overwhelming response in the past few days and we all couldn’t be more thankful and honored.
We will always be able to hear his voice in Star Trek episodes, interviews and on his albums. When we’re missing our Poppi, we can go watch him online somewhere. That way he never really leaves us.
For more of our tribute to Leonard Nimoy, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday