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AGE: 95 • Long Branch
The Fishman family mourns the death and celebrates the life of Nathan Fishman, who died of congestive heart failure on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. He was 95.
He was a skilled and successful lawyer, a decorated veteran of World War II, and above all a man who loved and lived for his family.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Ruth Eisenberg Fishman; by three sons, Robert of Elberon, Clifford and his wife Carole of Rumson, and Mitchell and his wife Lois Rowe of West Windsor; his daughter and son-in-law, Joan Fishman Lerner and Gregg Lerner; and by six grandchildren, Peter Fishman, Casey Fishman, Daniel Fishman, Michael Fishman, Zachary Lerner, and Matthew Lerner.
He was born and grew up in Jersey City, and educated at the public schools. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University, and received his law degree with honors from the Harvard Law School. He was among the first to be drafted in 1941, and he went directly from the Harvard Law School to service as a private in the Army in the months before Pearl Harbor. He left the Army as a Captain in 1945, having fought with his unit from the Normandy Beaches in June 1944 to the Elbe River and the final defeat of Germany in May 1945. A fire control officer for field artillery, he was in the midst of all the major battles of that campaign, including Patton's sweep through Normandy; the battle for Paris; the battle of Huertgen Forest; and crossing of the Rhine and the final battle in Germany. He was among those who stopped Hitler's last major offensive at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, and for bravery in leading his unit during that crucial battle he was awarded the Bronze Star.
He returned to civilian life as a lawyer in private practice, starting in Jersey City and then moving to Union. In an era of large firms and specialized law, he prospered as a sole practitioner and a generalist. He remained in active practice into his eighties, with an office in Elberon. His summer home in Elberon was a particular joy since the 1950s; and in 1990 he and his wife Ruth moved permanently from Elizabeth, where they had raised their family, to Long Branch. There they were particularly attached to the Elberon Library; and he and his son, Clifford were instrumental in the transition of the library from a private institution to a branch of the Long Branch Free Public Library. His service to the Elberon Branch Library is marked by the "Nathan Fishman Room" in the new addition.
A man of remarkable warmth and friendliness, he was the center of a large group of long-term friends, almost all of whom he outlived. But his family always came first, and his greatest joy was to be with his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.
The family requests that contributions in his memory can be made to the Elberon Library; 168 Lincoln Ave., Elberon, NJ 07740, Attn: Fishman Fund; or to The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, 3300 Rt. 66, Neptune, NJ 07753, Attn: Fishman Fund.
Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels, Ocean Twp., is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Nov. 13, 2013