Herbert Fishman Obituary (2021) – Hartford, Connecticut

On December 19, 2021, Herbert B. Fishman, 93, passed away after a valiant 17-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Herb was born July 30, 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut. He lived in West Hartford, attended Hall High School, and received two degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering. Herb worked at Electric Boat in New London, Connecticut, where he was a welding inspector on the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. He then joined his father, William, and brother, Morton, at Fishman & Sons of Hartford, who moved to South Windsor in 1958. Herb started as an estimator and went on to become director and then president of the company. In 1979 he formed HB Fishman & Co., Inc., and was well known on the East Coast as an expert in all types of roofing. He designed the architectural restoration work on many of Yale University’s rooftops and installed the 47-acre roof of the former JCPenney distribution center in Manchester. Committed to his job, Herb continued to lead HB Fishman until Parkinson’s disease prevented him from going to the office any longer at age 89. Fishman is the author of several articles which have appeared in building and roofing journals. Throughout his professional life, Herb has belonged to several professional organizations, including ASTM International and the National Roofing Contractors Association. In 1958, Herb met his 63-year-old wife, Ruth (Tutti) Lichtenstern, on a beach in Nantucket, MA. He proposed to her while driving through Smugglers’ Notch in Stowe, VT, and within a year they were married. Herb was a true Renaissance man: he grew legendary tomatoes; has won dozens of awards for its orchids; enjoyed swimming, sailing, water skiing and snow skiing; and could yodel like a Swiss goatherd. He was also a sculptor who, along with his brother Morton, built the metal tree of liberty for the New England pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair. Herb Fishman designed and manufactured numerous sculptures, which adorn the Emanuel, Beth El, the former Tikvoh Chadoshoh and the former Teferes Israel synagogues, as well as the Renbrook School, the Gengras Center and other public places in Connecticut. Herb Fishman was also a poetry writer, spending many hours composing witty rhymes after Parkinson’s disease limited his mobility. Always an engineer, Herb would modify almost anything in the hopes of improving its functionality, accessibility or taste. As a beloved father, uncle and grandfather, Herb was generous and sensitive and full of wise counsel for his family. Herb Fishman was predeceased by his parents, Rose (née Rosenthal) and William Fishman, and his four siblings: Morris Marshall, Helen, Sylvia (Wernick) and Morton. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Ruth; her sons, Peter (Lisa) and Toni (Yukiko) of Farmington; and her daughter K. Heidi (David) of Norwich, VT; as well as seven grandchildren: Garrett, Ari, Madeleine, Joshua, Glenn, Emily and Ethan. Herb’s family would like to thank all of his caregivers who over the past few years have helped him with everything from personal grooming to transcribing poetry to gardening. In particular, we thank Deb Spearot for his dedication to caring for Herb’s extensive orchid collection when he was no longer able to do so on his own. There will be a cemetery ceremony on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. at the Beth Israel Avon Congregation Cemetery, 27 Jackson Street, Avon, CT. Masks required. Zoom link available for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to the Parkinson’s Foundation (https://www.parkinson.org/), Congregation Beth Israel (701 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, CT 06119) or Ruth and Herbert Fishman ’53 Scholarship at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (https://giving.rpi.edu).

Posted by Hartford Courant on Dec 21, 2021.

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