Sydell Fishman

| 24 Feb 2024 | 11:23

Sydell Blum Fishman of West Milford passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of Jan. 23, 2024. She was 92.

A loving mother, wife, aunt, niece, grandmother and teacher, she was born Feb. 22, 1931, in Brooklyn.

She is survived by her daughter, Marla Joy and her partner Dominick Mercurio; her son, Jay Foster and his wife Susan Broidrick; her grandchildren, Sarah Brucker, Ian Fishman and Kaitlyn Chu an their respective partners, Jason Harucki, Abigail MacLaren and Khoa Chu; six nieces; five nephews; and countless friends, supporters and well-wishers made along her journey.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Irving Fishman, whom she married Aug. 20, 1950, after their meeting on the beaches of Coney Island.

The first college graduate in her family, Sydell earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Brooklyn College, after which she found her life’s calling as a devoted teacher.

Sharing the gifts of learning and education wherever she could, she taught elementary school at P.S. 7 and P.S. 251 in Brooklyn until moving to West Milford in 1968, where she taught elementary school at both Westbrook Elementary and Marshall Hill schools along with a stint at West Milford High School before her retirement in 1991.

Sydell remained active in education long after retirement, both for herself and in service of others, spending time as a volunteer literacy tutor in Paterson, auditing classes at Montclair State University, and learning to speak Spanish and play the piano.

Retirement afforded Sydell opportunities to explore the world in ways she’d always dreamed of, often bringing her family and friends along for the ride. Whether it be traveling to Spain, Israel, London, an archaeological dig in Georgia or a mandatory trip to Walt Disney World with her grandchildren; attending Broadway shows, ballets, plays and concerts in New York; or ice skating, ballroom dancing and visiting museums; Sydell made a point to live her life to the fullest.

A lifelong supporter of civil rights, Sydell’s activism did not diminish as she aged. She was a member of the League of Women Voters; an avid supporter of the NAACP, ACLU, and numerous Jewish organizations and causes; as well as an active member of the Greenwood Lake, N.Y., synagogue, B’nai Torah.

She loved to host a great party, whether it be celebrating someone in her life she loved or bringing the family together for a holiday over her famous brisket.

The family is grateful to the staff at the Chelsea at Bald Eagle Senior Living Center, along with Grace Hospice, for the excellent care they gave Sydell through her final years.

Her spirit and spark are greatly missed. A memorial service will be held at the B’nai Torah synagogue in Greenwood Lake on April 14.