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Alice Fishman Dies At 81

Great Neck/North Shore Cable Commission Chair Alice Fishman died on July 6. A long-time Great Neck resident (almost 50 years), she was 81. Ms. Fishman died following a brief illness. A true trailblazer, she was the first female mayor of Russell Gardens, as well as that village’s first female trustee and first civic association female president.  She served on the Cable Commission since 1991, where, since the commission’s inception, she headed a coalition of 15 North Shore villages that grant cable television franchise licenses.


Ms. Fishman began her long years of service to the Great Neck community during the days when her sons, Charles and Barry, attended the Great Neck Public Schools. Anxious that her sons, as well as all of the school children in the community, should receive the very best education, she quickly became involved, involved with the schools’ PTA groups, as well as the district’s UPTC. 


According to Barry, his mother was definite in her desire to help, to “give back” and to be certain that everyone was able to get what they needed. “I do think her public service began because she wanted to be involved with anything that involved her children,” he told the Great Neck Record. Describing his wonderful childhood, Barry termed those years

“The Ozzie and Harriet Show” years. 


Ms. Fishman went on from there, becoming involved in various organizations, including her own Village of Russell Gardens, local politics, ORT, COPAY and the Great Neck United Community Fund.  


Great Neck Park District Commissioner Dan Nachmanoff, former Russell Gardens mayor, knew Ms. Fishman for 40 years. He noted how Ms. Fishman worked hard, never seeking any personal recognition, “there for everyone.”


Shirley Bruno, PATV executive director, was with Ms. Fishman from the start of the early cable television days, from the beginning of the cable commission. She spoke of how her good friend was so strong, so dedicated, so “extremely knowledgeable.” Ms. Bruno will always remember Alice Fishman’s words of advice to  “always make the time” for what is most important. 


One and all, family and friends who paid tribute at the service for Ms. Fishman last week, praised her seemingly effortless ability to care for her family, remain a true friend, all the while pursuing her interests in helping out so very many local organizations.


Alice Fishman is survived by her husband, Dr. Melvin Fishman, their two sons, Charles (his wife Nancy and daughters Alexa and Kimberly) and Barry (his partner Bryan); and Alice’s sister, Edna.


In the upcoming months, PATV will be creating a program tribute to Alice Fishman and will cablecast the program on PATV on Channel 20 on Cablevision and on Channel 37 on Verizon FIOS.


Alice Fishman was “elegant and gracious,” as her husband Mel Fishman said.  


Though her impacts will live on, Great Neck just will not be the same without Alice Fishman!