FHHS Class of '56 and Friends
Updated 9/25/11

In Memoriam: Stuart Schwartz '56

Classmate Stuart Schwartz passed away August 27th 2011, additional information on him can be found at the Princeton University website, where he was a professor since 1966 as well as chair of Electrical Engineering (nine years). A graduate of MIT (BS and MS) and of the University of Michigan (Ph.D), he is survived by his wife Mimi (class of 57 FHHS), his children Julie Mazer and Alan Schwartz, and five grandchildren.

In Memoriam: Sheldon Altschul '56

Classmate Sheldon Altschul passed away Feb 2009. He graduated from Fordham Pharmacy School and bought Forest Heights Pharmacy which he eventually sold so he could do some traveling. He lived in Amityville for the past 25 years. He is survived by one of his two daughters, a son and eight grandchildren. Whoever became Shelly's friend knew what a special gift they were given.

In Memoriam: Yvonne Gruber Dixon '56

Classmate Yvonne Gruber Dixon passed away Nov 5th, 2010, succumbing to the cancer she had bravely battled and beat several times over a 19 year period. Yvonne’s longstanding marriage of 52 years to Joe Dixon was blessed by a son, a daughter and four grandchildren. She was an office manager for the 15 yrs before her retirement.

In Memoriam: Jack Friedman '56

Classmate Jack Friedman (Jack July 9, 1939 - May 3, 2010) passed away in California from complications of a rare blood disease. Jack was a pioneer in the toy industry and made his mark over his 50 year career with some of the most iconic playthings of our time. He founded several toy companies including JAKKS Pacific in 1995. He retired earlier this year to spend more time with his family. Friedman was a generous philanthropist and supporter of the Company's JAKKS Cares program which has donated over $40 million worth of toys and school supplies to children around the world.

In Memoriam: Sidney Bernstein '56

Sidney Bernstein was an unforgettable classmate, having done great service for the school during his years there. He was our G.O. (General Organization) President, and our representative to the National Student Council. His work for the school earned him the votes of fellow classmates as Most Likely to Succeed, Class Diplomat, and Did Most for the School. After FHHS, he graduated from Columbia College and the Cornell Law School, and went on to a distinguished career in law and legal publishing. He was also active in the Jewish community and was an enthusiastic supporter of the State of Israel.

In Memoriam: Susan Sims Bodenstein '56

Note from Ken Bodenstein

This past September as I was participating in the National Grass Court Tennis Championships at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, I met Steve Halpern by chance, on the practice courts and during a break, he mentioned his involvement with foresthillshigh56.com. When I told him I was married to Susan Sims he mentioned the "In Memoriam" page.

I met Susan at my fraternity house (TEP) on the Columbia College campus during a high school sorority open house. In fact I took her to your Senior Prom and was with you all on your senior boat trip up the Hudson River on that cold rainy day in the spring of 1956. Sue and I dated for four years while she was in college and we married in September of 1960.

Sue graduated from Bennington in June 1960 (after spending her freshman year at Boston University) and began a career in advertising as a copywriter in Philadelphia and then Chicago. She raised two children in Chicago, Todd (b. 1962) and Leslie (b.1964). In 1985 we moved to Santa Monica, CA where she lived until her untimely death in April 1990. Although suffering with epilepsy her whole life, Sue was determined to bring about changes to our world.

Sue was an activist and way ahead of the feminist movement, when soon after graduating from Forest Hills, in the fall of 1956 she petitioned the NCAA to allow her to be a coxswain on the Boston University Men’s Freshman Crew. Unfortunately, the NCAA ruled that women could not participate on men’s teams. By the 1980’s, however, the NCAA changed the rule. Soon after arriving in Chicago in the mid-1960’s Sue founded a neighborhood newspaper (monthly), “On Broadway” which dealt with local school issues, the Lincoln Park Community’s problems, and the beginning of the independent Chicago Political Movement.

Although she left us at a very early age, her life and accomplishments have affected many young persons. The “Susan Sims Bodenstein Pre-School”, founded in 1991, affiliated with Temple Mishkon Tephilo, is one of the outstanding early child development facilities in Venice and Santa Monica, California. In April 1991 the SUSAN SIMS BODENSTEIN eight-oared racing shell was christened at the Columbia University boathouse and was used for over a decade as the Women’s Varsity Crew’s racing shell and The Los Angeles and Orange County Epilepsy Foundation has established The Susan Sims Bodenstein Special Fund to be used for children support programs.

Susan’s spirit has lived on in the lives of all who loved her.

Kenneth Bodenstein

October 2008

P.S. I want to send my belated condolences to the families and friends of Stan Needleman and Frank Decker. I knew them well at Columbia, Stan the feisty basketball player and Frank as a member of the varsity lightweight crew. Having graduated from Columbia in 1957, I remained through 1960 as a dorm counselor, chemistry instructor and Lightweight Crew Coach. Frank was one of my more dedicated competitors

In Memoriam: Bonnie Arditti Edelstein '57

Bonnie was a spark plug in 1957 and remained a remarkable woman the following 50 years.

She left 4 children 8 grandchildren, 3 son in laws, a daughter in law, an admiring husband, a sister and brother in law, and hundreds of friends, relatives, customers, and business associates. Bonnie's career started as a lyricist with BMI, having written lyrics for numerous childrens plays. She also worked on projects with Julie Styne. After marrying and raising her family she returned to business as co-owner of a successful greeting card, gift and gift basket store in Boca Raton, Florida. She was a caring, bright person,having the ability to make most people she touched, happier. Yes, she had a successful life

In Memoriam: Peter Schmeidler '55

Peter J. Schmeidler, died on April 14, 2008. Peter graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1955. He worked as a Chemical Engineer for Rohm & Haas for 40 years and served as president of the Delaware Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. After his retirement, he was a Senior Fellow at the Wharton School's Risk Management and Decision Processes Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

In Memoriam: Martin Gary Groder '56

Martin Gary Groder, 67, died at home in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Friday, October 12, 2007 after a boldly courageous six year battle with cancer.

Marty graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1956. He was a finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search which took him to Columbia College. After graduation he went on to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and served a medical Internship at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, followed by a psychiatric Residency at the University of California’s Neuropsychiatric Institute. There he thrived in Eric Berne’s San Francisco Social Psychiatry Seminar, at which time the theoretical structure of transactional analysis was developed. Since 1968, he published multiple articles for the Transactional Analysis Journal.

Following his Residency Marty served as a psychiatrist and then Chief Medical Officer at the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois, . He founded the Asklepieion Program at Marion and other federal and state institutions. In 1972 he served as Warden of the Federal Center for Correctional Research at Butner, NC, where he developed both the psychiatric program and the four research units. In 1975 he entered private practice in Chapel Hill, NC. He retired from psychiatric medicine in November, 2003 but continued business and family consulting until September, 2007.
Throughout the years, Marty wrote articles on business, self- improvement and health. He co-authored Business Games, Loveland for Alpha Males, and Second Chances: A Love Guide for Alpha Males.

Dr. Groder is survived by: his wife Leslie, his children and grandchildren. Marty requested memorial donations go to the North Carolina Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/northcarolina/.

In Memoriam: Cynthia Goldberg Goldring-Freidlin '56

Cynthia Goldberg Goldring-Freidlin, 68, died Monday evening, January 29, 2007 in Jacksonville, Florida. Cynthia attended the University of Alabama, and married David Goldring, whom she met during a family vacation in the Catskill Mountains. Widowed in 1997, Cynthia married Mel Friedlin in 2001. A wonderful loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Cynthia was embraced with love and equipped with strength as she dealt with ovarian cancer.

In Memoriam: Stephen Slaton Scheidt '56

We bid farewell to Stephen Slaton Scheidt, our Class Valedictorian, a finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, and a National Merit Scholar. Steve graduated from Princeton University, received a Fulbright Fellowship in biochemistry and subsequently graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He served his residency at First (Columbia) Division of Bellevue followed by a cardiology fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he spent his entire career of nearly 40 years, becoming an internationally recognized cardiologist and professor. He held many posts there, including Director of Cardiology Training, assistant dean for Continuing Medical Education and associate dean for Student Affairs. He received the Elliott Hochstein Teaching Award from Cornell University Medical College in 1980. He was co-director of the Salzburg-Cornell Seminars for which he was awarded the Silver Medal for Science and Technology by the Austrian government for his many years of medical teaching in newly independent nations in central and eastern Europe and central Asia. Over the span of his career he received many honors, wrote over 200 scientific papers, several books/chapters, and served as a vice-president of the American Heart Association, and as a director of Empire Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Steve passed away on August 7. 2007 after a 14 year battle with prostate cancer. He will be remembered with great affection by his classmates, not only for his academic brilliance, but for his friendship, warmth and gentle nature.

Steve passed away on August 7. 2007. For more information please Click Here

In Memoriam: Tatiana Troyanous '56

Tatiana has been listed on our "In Memoriam" page for quite some time but we had no additional information other than she was a Opera star. At the 50th reunion Audrey Samuels Kurtz provided us with the Aug 23, 1993 New York Times obituary. To view Tatiana's obituary click here

In Memoriam: Jon Kenler '56

At the 50th reunion William Frisch told us of Jon's death. William has since provided us with the text of Jon's obituary. To view Jon's obituary click here.

In Memoriam: Arnie Finkelstein '56

We knew him as Arnie Finkelstein but the Jazz world knew him as Arnie Lawrence. Arnie passed away on April 22, 2005 in Jerusalem where he used jazz as a tool for bridging the Israeli-Palestinian culture gap.

Google "Arnie Lawrence " to find out more Arnie's Jaz career.

Lynn Trevas Berman '56 Remembers Arnie in an Email to his daughter Jana Click here

In Memoriam: Albert Wertheim ’57

Albert Wertheim ’57 was a Professor of English and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Development at Indiana University where he taught classic and contemporary British and American Drama. His wife Judy tells us, “Albert was a loyal FHHS alum, who always remembered his time in high school fondly. And because he often regaled me with FHHS anecdotes, I think of many of his schoolmates as friends, even though I know only a few of them personally.” In 2003 he lost his battle with cancer, and the following year a beautiful tribute to his memory was written by Norma Jenckes, Editor of the American Drama Journal.

Click here to read Norma's tribute to Albert (Acrobat Reader Required)

In Memoriam: Elaine (Bunni) Carroll London '55

Elaine (Bunni) Carroll London, FHHS '55, passed away on February 10, 2005 . We have no additional information at this time.

In Memoriam: Barbara Weisberger Spiegler '56

We recently learned from David Spiegler that his wife of 44 years and our classmate Bobbie passed away on September 14, 2003. David sent us Barbara's obituary which can read by clicking here. A new window will open, just close it to return here.

In Memoriam: Steven Geffen '56

We are sad to announce the death of Steven Geffen on Oct. 19, 2004.

Aditional information can be found at the Journal News Web site. These links will open a new instance of your browser. Just close that window to return here.


Journal News Article Reprint

In Memoriam: Steve Pollak '56

We are sad to announce the death of Steve Pollak on Jan. 19, 2004.

Harold Weber sent us an email from Steve's son. To read this click on the link which will open a new instance of your browser. Just close that window to return here.

Email from Steve's son

In Memoriam: Mara Tower Chwatt '56

We are sad to announce the death of Mara Tower Chwatt on August 28, 2003.

Aditional information can be found at the NY Times Web Site. This Link will open a new instance of your browser. Just close that window to return here.


In Memoriam: Judy Berman Brandenburg '57

We are sad to announce the death of Judith Berman Brandenburg FHHS '57, wife of Lane H. Brandenburg FHHS '56 and friend to many of us. Judith taught biology after graduation from Cornell, and went on to an M.A. from Harvard, and a PhD. from NYU. She served as an Associate Dean at Yale, and was the first woman to hold the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Columbia’s Teachers’ College. She was a devoted wife, mother and scholar, and will be sorely missed by her husband and two sons, David (32) and Neal (28), and by her many friends.

Aditional information can be found at the Teachers College Web Site. This Link will open a new instance of your browser. Just close that window to return here.