Howard Salzman 1926 – 2017

The brilliant, charismatic Howard Salzman passed peacefully on December 28th. He will be remembered by his many students at Florida International University where he taught Philosophy and Aging in Place; and of course his family and his friends from over the years.

Howard Salzman was an explorer, both physically and spiritually. He trekked many hours in the Florida Everglades. He said he was never bitten by mosquitoes because he wasn’t afraid of them.

He loved the ocean, enjoying swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling. He taught both his daughters, Carol and Linda, to be fearless in the ocean.

Howard was a voracious reader, mostly non-fiction. He spent time at Esalen back in the day, and was a fan of Fritz Perls in the late 60’s.

Howard was an aging advocate. He was asked to appear on the PBS Frontline TV show for an interview about aging well. Frontline PBS published an interview and a page of his poems.

You’ll find more of his poetry and aphorisms on this website.

Howard was born May 20, 1926 in the Bronx, New York to Rae (Lobell) and Alexander (Al) Salzman. Howard served his country in the Navy. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College where he met Phyllis Knobel and at Adelphi University. He married Phyllis Knobel in 1949. He moved briefly to Birmingham, Alabama in 1953 and then to Miami, Florida a year later. He lived in Southern Florida the rest of his life. Howard lost his brother Irwin when he was a young man. He lost both his parents and his sister Pearl in the 70’s. Pearl had a son, Richard Whitehill and a daughter, Faye Whitehill Gero – Howard’s nephew and niece whom he cared for very much. Irwin had a daughter Dr. Donna Frances Salzman DeGeorge, Howard’s niece, who he always thought of fondly. Phyllis passed November 21, 1984.

Lucille Gaffney was Howard’s devoted companion for many years. She was with him the day he died. We are grateful to Lucille for all she has done to take care of Howard and the love she always showed him.

Howard was fond of both of his son-in-laws married to his daughter, Linda, Richard Sherman and Ray Gordon. Ray was very helpful taking care of Howard both when he visited us in Hawaii and in his last years. Howard found some peace following Hurricane IRMA listening to Richard Sherman playing the piano.

Howard Salzman with his daughter Carol at Linda's wedding October 6, 1968.

Carol was Howard’s favorite daughter. With Howard at Linda’s wedding October 6, 1968.


 
My mother’s side of the family, the Knobels and Milgrims were very close with each other and driven by some very strong women, including the famous dress designer Sally Milgrim. My grandfather Ira Knobel, was my personal favorite man in that family. He instilled the will to be healthy in me with his focus on good nutrition and daily exercise. Unfortunately, the Salzman family did not bond well. I have finally met relatives on the Salzman side I never met before in the last two years as I endeavored to bring them together with my father again. I visited my awesome cousin Jen Whitehill Voegtli and her husband Walt in Connecticut to see my father’s niece Faye, who lives with them. Walt and Jen (Faye’s daughter) are brilliant scientists and Walt spoiled us with his gourmet cooking. I am so happy to have them in my life now. When I was back at Victoria Villa Assisted Living facility, Jen helped me set up a FaceTime with Howard with their whole family. He loved that. I just saw a photo of my Dad at Jen’s first wedding and I could see how proud he was of his niece, Jen.

Preparing for the funeral and celebration of life, I had long conversations with Howard’s nephew Richard Whitehill’s children William David Whitehill and Nancey Whitehill Upshaw (also Howard’s nephew and niece). Their memories of Howard brought back wonderful memories of a younger Howard for me. Nancey talked about him being charming and funny. Thanks to them, I am now thinking about my younger Dad more than the man he became after his fall in November 2014 put him in a wheelchair and ushered in his gradual mental decline. He had been 100% mentally sharp up to the time he was 89 years old. My husband Ray’s theory is that congestive heart issues gradually deprived his brain of sufficient oxygen. (On my Mother’s side, I have close relatives who have stayed very mentally sharp into their 90’s so I am hoping for the best for myself in that arena).

In September 2018, I finally found the Lobell’s. I had a great conversation with Stephen Lobell who is still sharp at 88. Stephen is the son of Howard’s uncle (his mother Rae’s younger brother) Larry Lobell. Larry Lobell was family doctor for Wini Bell, who kindly made the first comment on this tribute and actually delivered Faye. Rae’s father Harry was very active into his late 90’s.

Howard and I are so grateful to his yoga teacher, Paty Renda, who worked with him weekly during the last years of his life.

Special thanks to Rodrigo who was head nurse at Victoria Villa when I was managing Howard’s cataract surgery. He was so helpful and a terrific nurse. He is now at the VA and they are lucky to have him.

Many thanks to Richard Roberts, Howard’s case worker at the VA. Richard was a special friend. Interestingly, there was much yoga in Howard’s latest years. Howard’s yoga therapist, Paty Renda, his niece Nancey Upshaw is a yogi, I was doing yoga every day that I visited Davie and Richard Roberts had talked to Howard about yoga for many years.

Thank you to Marsha Collier who gave Howard, Carol and I her Miami Beach condo to use when we had to turn the water off at the Coconut Grove house in 2009.

Thank you to Krama Yoga in Davie, where I found Paty Renda (my father’s chair yoga coach and so much more). This is an excellent yoga studio with great owners, instructors, trainers and practicing yogi’s. I practiced yoga there every day during my many visits to Davie where Victoria Villa Assisted Living facility is located. Yoga in this high level and spiritual environment kept me centered and able to give my best to my Dad. Special mentions to Alex Issaev, who is now at Issa Yoga and the Perea’s.

Thank you to all who have friended Howard on Facebook.

Howard Salzman Burial and Celebration of Life

Howard’s military burial with military honors ceremony was at the South Florida National Cemetery at Lake Worth on Thursday, January 18th at 1pm.
6501 S. State Road 7, 
Lake Worth, FL 33449
You can find Howard at the Columbarium section 47. I will add a map.
We followed with a celebration of life at a near-by location.

South Florida National Cemetery Bench

The weather forecast high for Lake Worth (33449 – note this is the inland section of Lake Worth, not on the water) on January 18th was 64 degrees (cool for Florida).

I asked those who would like to attend, to please leave a private note on the contact form on this website or on my website Boomer Tech Talk.

Here is an article I wrote on that site: How to set up an iPad for the Elderly, featuring Howard Salzman.

Please feel free to leave condolences, memories, anything you like, here in the comments. Your memories of Howard are greatly appreciated.

 
Howard Salzman younger days

Howard in Navy clothes, we don't know who the girl is.

Howard in Navy clothes, we don’t know who the girl is.


 
Howard Salzman in navy group shot

Howard in Navy group shot


 

Howard Salzman with Carol circa 1957

Howard with Carol circa 1957


 
Howard Salzman with Carol circa 1957

Howard with Carol and Christine Blanton circa 1957. We would love to find Christine!

Phyllis Knobel Salzman and Howard Salzman

Phyllis (Knobel) and Howard dancing at Linda’s wedding


 
Howard Salzman family photo

Back row, left to right: Gordon Gouwens and Marilyn (Knobel), Howard and Phyllis, Howard’s sister, Pearl, Carol; Front row: Ira and Anna Knobel, Linda and Richard, Howard’s parents: Rae and Al.


 
Howard Salzman with Richard Sherman, Linda's first husband at 1968 wedding

Howard with Richard Sherman, Linda’s first husband at 1968 wedding


 
Howard Salzman with daughter

Howard and Linda at his sister-in-law Marilyn (Knobel)’s house in Coconut Grove


 
Howard Salzman at Jen Voegtli's wedding for her first marriage in 1997.

Howard at Jen Voegtli’s wedding for her first marriage in 1997.


 
Howard Salzman in panama hat

Howard Salzman in Coconut Grove

Howard when he was living in Coconut Grove, 2009 to 2011.


 
Howard Salzman April 2014

April 30, 2014, when Howard was still living with Lucille in Pembroke Pines. With Linda in the pool, enjoying zero gravity in spiritual mode.


 
Howard Salzman breathing and stretching exercises October 23, 2015

Linda leading Howard in breathing and stretching exercises, Victoria Villa Oct 23, 2015.


 
Howard Salzman taking to Franklin Milgrim on phone

Howard talking to his cousin Franklin Milgrim on the phone at Victoria Villa, June 2016. The headphones made it much easier for him to hear.


 
Jen Voegtli and her son Wyatt showing Howard Salzman the stuffed dog named Henry he gave her when she was born.

Jen Voegtli and her son Wyatt showing Howard the stuffed dog named Henry he gave her when she was born.


 
Richard Roberts teaching Kundalini yoga at Bay Oaks Retirement Home

Richard Roberts, Howard’s case manager at the VA teaching Kundalini yoga at Bay Oaks Retirement Home in 2012


 
Howard Salzman with yoga teacher Paty Renda

Howard with his wonderful chair yoga therapist Paty Renda, May 2017. When he wasn’t up to strength, breathing and mobility work, she would massage his feet and hands.


 
Howard Salzman at his 91st birthday

Howard at his 91st birthday , May 20 2017.


 
Howard's Philosophical and Creative Explorations card

Howard was at this address from the early 1960’s to 2009. The phone is no longer in operation.


 
As you can see Howard was looking good in May 2017. I arrived on the first day they allowed flights into Miami/Ft. Lauderdale following Hurricane IRMA, September 13th. Like many assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Southern Florida during IRMA, his did not have generators large enough to run a/c. So I was glad to be able to get him into cooler circumstances when I got there. But I think IRMA was hard on him. They treated him very well at Victoria Villa. He had Lucille visiting him regularly, my sister Carol was always a caring voice and Paty Renda was there most every week.

Howard was a very strong willed person and we all believe it was simply his decision to leave us when he did.

Our “guest book” is below in the comments.

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The Man Who Howled At The Moon

There was a man who howled at the moon
the moon looked down and asked
what do you want
the man said
rid me of my madness
and the moon replied
your madness is a myth.

Loneliness

When you fill your loneliness with people
and you feel empty,
perhaps it is your destiny
to be alone
so that you may be filled with God.

Logic

We fashion frameworks in our mind
barriers do we build
empirically bound
limiting the limitless
logic draws a continuous line
from the known
while the unknown flees from us in space and time.

Love

To define love is to limit it
to limit love is to control it
to control love is to abuse it
to abuse love is to lose it.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I have lingered in your words
and felt your presence.
How strange that in your
spiritual journey
your enlightenment
became my light
and what truths you carried back
from the mountain top
stand by themselves
words of the spirit
that speak for all mankind
born in the center of the universe
where you touched the divine.

The Living Torah

At times the teaching of the Torah
can be like words in the wind
that drift before you
and then are gone.
But one moment in a home
that lives by the teachings of the Torah
remain in your mind
for a lifetime.

Inner Voice

When all have forsaken you
and there is no one there
a voice will come to your inner ear
and say: I am here!
You may deny Him, my friend,
but in the end
you will be close to Him
for He is patient.

Hands of Prayer

Behold the hands of prayer
that Rodin placed so beautifully together
their strength
their form
their force
within these hands
the heart speaks
the soul responds
and the spirit
ascends into the heavens.

Galloping Words

Along the ridges of my mind
fantasy slips into a dark corral
to seize some spirited mare
stampede realities ground.

I know not what figure
rides the angry steed
nor caprice to stir her on
I will not grab her slashing neck
nor funnel her foul breath
The ride is death.

Strange that you who sired
my psychic seed
should use galloping words
to crush my second birth.