Isadore Mordecai Fixman

Mr. Fixman was originally from Danbury, CT. He had graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY, in 1927, with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and had moved to Oak Park in 1944.

He was the founder of Freedom Hall (a local collection of historical documents), and was active in the Chicago Adult Education Council, the Civic Symphony Board, the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation, and the Thatcher Woods Boy Scout Council. He was President and Treasurer of the Hub Electric Co., Director of the Village Manager association, an officer of the Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago, Vice-President of the Oak Park Council of Christians and Jews, President of West Suburban Community Jewish Council, West Suburban Honoree for the State of Israel Bonds, a member of the board of directors of the West Suburban Temple, Vice-President of the Rensselaer Alumni Association, working director of Oak Park Trust & Savings Bank, and director of the National Conference of Chistians & Jews of Metropolitan Chicago.

He had been a member of the Oak Park village board from 65-69. Its members said they considered him a man of great judgment and insight, with only the good of the community uppermost in his thinking.

Mr. Fixman had been traveling with a representative of Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which had recently purchased his company.

The Elmhurst plant of Hub Electric was closed all day in tribute to him.

The tributes to Mr. Fixman that poured in following his untimely death leave no doubt that he was a man who had had a great influence on his community, and who was loved and repected by all those who knew him. A column which appeared in his hometown newspaper said it best:

"Death, respecter of no man, took one of Oak Park's finest when Isadore M. Fixman was killed in that tragic plane crash near Indianapolis last week. A villager for 25 of his 63 years, Mr. Fixman was a factor in affairs here without hardly anybody noticing it, except those with whom he worked and those with whom he served.
An early supporter of the Village Manger Assn., it was fitting he was finally persuaded to stand for election as a village trustee in April 1965. It was his only elective office. It, however, was far from his only contribution to the village to which he was devoted and dedicated. These accomplishments are dealt with in other columns in this issue. A kindly man, his concern for his fellows extended from the young to the old, from the rich to the poor. His unlisted charities are known only to a few, and the beneficiaries of his great good will never know. It was typical of the man's thoughtfulness that he wrote the Boy Scout Council he could not attend its board meeting the night of Sept. 9 because he would be on a business trip - the one which took his life. Mr. Fixman was much more than a "name-lender", and if he signed up to do a job, he did it, without fanfare and without headlines. Modesty was among the many traits which distinguished this emminent citizen.The villages have lost a consecrated man as have its institutions, his temple, his school and the hundreds of friends among whom he moved in his quiet, unobtrusive way, just doing good."

In August of 1967, he had deliberately crashed his car into tree to avoid hitting a girl on bicycle who was coming at him head-on. He was in the hospital for nine weeks in recovery.

On 11/5/69, it was announced that the Boy Scouts had had a new scouting award named for him; it was named the "I.M. Fixman Memorial Award".

A memorial concert was given by the Civic Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest in his honor at 3:30 pm on Sunday, 1/25/70, in the Oak Park-River Forest HS auditorium. The program was: Barber's Adagio for Strings, Mozart's "Prague" Symphony, Copland's El Salon Mexico, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade.

His memorial service on 9/17 was attended by hundreds of mourners.

The Rabbi Leonard Mervis spoke of him:
" 'Iz' died in a manner opposite to his way of life. In his passing, he was a helpless victim of fate. His life was a rebuttal to this. He did not want people to be helpless victims of fate. He did not want people to be the victims of environment or the victims of cultural disadvantage or prejudice. His life was dedicated to helping people to be the masters fo their own fate. He thus fulfilled the highest degree of righteousness or charity…. The eighth degree, the highest form of righteousness,is to help people help themselves."

Rabbi Joseph Tabachnik said:
"Dear friends, Iz Fixman is gone. The Almighty reclaimed one of His precious pearls. It is not easy to part company with such a man, but generations will continue to benefit from the lustrous glow of his life of deeds. When he spoke, there was wisdom. For us who knew him, it was a great and a very rare privilege to have been blessed by his presence and to have shared something of his friendship. There was not a goodlier person among the children of Israel than he."

Heartfelt tributes, expressed as letters to the editor of the Oak Park newspaper, were submitted from the following:

He was quoted as having said many times, "there is so much to do, and so little time."

He left behind his wife, Fannabell.

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