Donald Feiman lived life to the fullest and passed away after a brief illness at the age of 97. He was born on March 1, 1926, and was raised by his father, M. Jerry Feiman, and his mother, Dorothy (we all knew her as Dottie). Don grew up in the Bronx, in an area around Yankee Stadium on Jerome Avenue. In his early days, he would go to the stadium after the games and get the autographs of baseball players like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and others.
Following in the footsteps of his older brother Richard, Don attended DeWitt Clinton High School and was an active member of the tennis and swimming teams. He was in a hurry to get an education and get out into the world, so he attended summer school and graduated from his high school in three and a half years. In June 1943, at 17 years old, Don was sent to Cornell University to study engineering.
Having taken a test to be trained as an electronic technician’s mate, Don enlisted in the Navy and spent more than a year studying electronics. He was sent to Treasure Island in San Francisco, then to Guam where his job was to install Loran (long range aid to navigation) on ships when they came into the harbor. After two years serving his country in the Navy, Don was ready to continue his studies at Cornell, and graduated in 1949 with a degree in Engineering. He then attended NYU Graduate School and received his master’s degree in business administration.
During this time Don renewed a relationship with his wife-to-be, Len Dreier. Len was a friend of Don’s sister Joyce, and they all lived in the same apartment building in the Bronx. Don pursued this lovely young lady and they were married at a local synagogue in 1952.
Len and Don moved to Forest Hills; while living there Don studied and passed his CPA exams, and began working with his father at Feiman, Geller and Feiman, CPAs. Not long thereafter, he was offered at job by Sam Dreier, his father-in-law, to work at Dreier Structural Steel. From 1954 to 1974, Don became a salesman and representative for Dreier to the steel industry. They built office buildings, schools, hospitals – any building that required steel framework including structures for the 1964 World’s Fair. One of Dreier’s most impressive jobs was to build the base of the World Trade Towers. Dreier was liquidated in 1974, and Don went on to pursue other business interests.
During this time Don and Len welcomed three children into the world: Debra, Amy, and Gary. They were raised in New Rochelle, and White Plains, and followed their paths through higher education, travel, and marriage. In 1983, Amy married Arie Behar in Israel; in 1985, Debi married Jim Sparks; and the family grew to include four grandchildren: Maya and Leah Behar, and Samuel and Benjamin Sparks.
Once all the children were out of the house and on their own, Len and Don moved to Florida where they built the first house in Audubon, a new community development in Naples. As the community grew, Don served as treasurer and the president of the Audubon Country Club and used his skills in construction to renovate the clubhouse and golf course. During this time, he initiated a partnership with his son-in-law, Arie, to build shopping centers, and eventually office buildings and apartment houses in several areas in New Jersey. This became more than a partnership as it fostered a friendship, understanding, and respect for one another that continued to this day.
Len and Don eventually sold their home in Audubon and moved to an apartment in Bentley Village. There they made many friends, and Don continued his love of tennis by playing on the courts three times a week. Len passed away from lymphoma in 2017, and after a short period of time Don found a companion and soul mate in Dr. Ira Dash, a resident of Bentley who lived in a neighboring apartment. Their days together were happy and fulfilling, and Ira loved and cared for Don right up until his passing on August 4, 2023.
Donald Feiman is predeceased by his wife, Len, and his daughter Amy who died from complications of breast cancer in 2007. He is survived by his daughter Debi, son-in-law Jim, son Gary, son-in-law Arie and his wife Julie Suesserman, his grandchildren Maya Behar and her husband Dan Trub, Leah Behar, Sam Sparks and his fiancé Jae Eun Cheong, Ben Sparks, and great-grandchildren Amielle and Aaron Trub.
We remember Don for his remarkable achievements and for the kindness and compassion that he shared with all his family and friends. We are all better for having known him, and he will continue to be an example of how to live an exceptional, loving, and meaningful life.
Graveside services will be held 1PM, Tuesday, August 8, 2023, Cedar Park/Beth-El Cemetery, 735 Forest Ave, Paramus, NJ 07652.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Feiman, please visit our flower store.