Herbert Waltzer died on January 16, 2023, in Sarasota, Florida, at the age of 92.
Those who knew him said that you could always count on him, that he was steady and grounded, nurturing and caring, making even the roughest moments a little lighter. Recalling life in his native Brooklyn, Herb once wrote, “We had solid families, good neighbors, and friends. All the boys had nicknames. I was either ‘SHTAR-kur’ or ‘Doc’: ‘SHTAR-kur’ [Yiddish] because I was a fearless little runt, and ‘Doc’ because I was a bit of a student and read a lot.”
Herb’s penchant for learning would lead to a long and celebrated career in the world of academia. After receiving his doctorate in political science from New York University, Herb went on to serve in the United States Air Force for two years. Following a short stint teaching at NYU, he accepted an offer to join the faculty of Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, where he spent the next forty years engaged in the study of election politics.
It was in Oxford where Herb met and married Marilyn Fischvogt. Their children, Adam, Sarah, and Sam, were the joy and light of their lives. Never missing a Miami basketball or football game, Herb ensured the kids knew how to properly score the game with pen and program. Sadly, Marilyn took ill, and passed away in 1989.
He served as the Chair of the Department of Political Science during a period of rapid growth, and the establishment of the doctoral program. He went on to serve as the Acting Dean of the Graduate school and the Acting Associate Provost. It gave him great pleasure to see his students become respected leaders in academia and government.
Herb was a member and Vice-Chair of the Faculty Assembly and University Senate. He drafted Miami’s first formal University governance structure. He consulted with dozens of other universities on governance and administration. Herb served for thirty-two years as a director of the Miami Beerman Hillel Center, which he helped to found.
Miriam Grobman entered Herb’s life in 1991. Introduced by a mutual friend, the two found they had a lot in common and love came calling once again. In marrying Miriam, he gained two sons from her first marriage, Jeffrey and Steven.
With retirement on the horizon, the couple moved to Sarasota in 2006, where Herb continued to teach political science in an adult-learning setting. He became active in city politics, joining the “Downtown Partnership” and “Assignment Downtown,” two groups advocating for the city. Herb and Miriam were active and proud members of Sarasota’s Temple Beth Israel and Temple Beth Sholom.
Retirement meant time for travel. There were annual visits to the Shaw Theatre Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada, and many adventures throughout the United States and overseas. Among the highlights were those the couple spent with each of their grandchildren.
Devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, teacher, and friend. He never waited nor thought it was someone else’s responsibility to make things better. Herbert Waltzer will be remembered for all he did, and all he meant to so many.
Herb was preceded in death by his parents Samuel and Pearl Waltzer and his wife Marilyn. He is survived by his sisters Rosalie and Barbara, by his children Adam (Candis), Sarah (Kenneth), and Sam (Suzanne); and by his wife Miriam and sons Jeffery (Norma), and Steven (Ashlyn). Herb leaves many Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.
A memorial service followed by visitation will be held on Sunday, January 22, 2023 from 4pm to 6pm at New Riff Distillery located at 24 Distillery Way; Newport, KY 41073. The family requests that any donations in Herbert’s name be made to The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Plymouth Harbor Foundation, or Temple Beth Sholom (Sarasota, Florida).