Samuel H. Laitman
WILLIAMSTOWN Samuel "Sandy" H. Laitman died March 13, 2014, at his home in Williamstown, at the age of 80.Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Berdie and Edwin Laitman, he attended Poly Prep Country Day School, graduating in 1951. He graduated from Williams College in 1955, earning a degree in political science. After serving as a navigator-bombardier in the Air Force Strategic Air Command, he returned to New York in 1958. He continued his education, earning an MBA at New York University and credentials as a CPA, then both Bachelor's and Master's degrees of Law at NYU Law School. Mr. Laitman specialized in the field of trusts and estates, becoming a respected expert on the preparation of fiduciary income tax returns, authoring several articles and giving many lectures throughout the country. He worked at the New York based law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges for 34 years, rising to become a partner and chair of its Trusts and Estates department. After retiring from his legal practice in 1999, he moved from Stamford, Conn. to Williamstown, to the home his wife named "Treetops." Throughout his long legal career, Mr. Laitman served as Trustee of many personal and charitable trusts. While living in Connecticut he served on the Board of Trustees of the Low Heywood Thomas School, in Stamford, Conn. He also served on the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York Deferred Giving and Legal Committees. While living in Massachusetts, he continued his life of public service, supporting many local causes. He served on the boards of The Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Williamstown Art Conservation Center. Mr. Laitman opened his home, hosting dozens of fund raising events. Through charitable trusts he helped to establish, he supported many small under-funded organizations. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary degree from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for his generous philanthropy and community spirit. This Doctorate of Laws allowed him to joke that he finally had more letters after his name, than in it. In 2014, he was awarded a second honorary degree, a Doctorate of Humane Letters, from Southern Vermont College. Survivors include his son, Andrew, of Maple Shade, N.J.; his daughter, Catherine Laitman Burke and her husband, William, of San Rafael, Calif., and their two sons Paul and Eric Burke; his daughter, Elizabeth Laitman Hughes and her husband, Michael, of Silver Spring, Md., and their son, Nathaniel Hughes. His wife of 39 years, Marilyn Lynn Laitman, predeceased him 17 years ago. FUNERAL NOTICE: The family is planning a private burial service, with a later public memorial service in Williamstown.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 16, 2014