Ben Seymour Feldman guided generations of students at RKA

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Ben Seymour Feldman, a 38-year resident of Riverdale, passed away at home in the loving care of his beloved wife, Lynda, 3 days before his 79th birthday.

Mr. Feldman was born on Nov. 7, 1936 to William and Frieda Feldman and lived his entire life in the Bronx.  He went to De Witt Clinton High School, then City College, and ultimately earned a master’s degree in education and a master’s degree in guidance at New York University. He contributed tremendously to the community, mainly as a guidance counselor for 32 years at the David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy (M.S./H.S. 141), and helped many students that experienced hardship in one way or another.

“Mister Feldman,” as the students called him, was a child advocate and protector.  When walking in the streets of Riverdale, the Feldman family was often stopped by former students who would insist on thanking Mr. Feldman for help he provided many years earlier.  

Anyone who knew Mr. Feldman soon learned that he had two great joys in his life, his beautiful wife of 52 Years, Lynda, and collecting antiques. Ben and Lynda did practically everything together. Lynda also worked at M.S. 141 as an administrative aid to the principal. The pair ran a summer camp for 20 years that had locations in California, North Carolina and Massachusetts. They shopped and shared the hobby of collecting antiques, mostly from the art deco era. Mr. Feldman took tremendous pride in filling his home with beautiful works of art and was often asked to consult for others who admired his skill in selecting and arranging paintings and furniture. 

In honor of Mr. Feldman’s love of art and his gift for nurturing house plants, the family envisions commissioning a sculpture and planting a tree in a park.

Lynda and Ben were married on June 22, 1963 and they had two children shortly thereafter, Andrea and Alan. Mr. Feldman passed along much of his wisdom in educating children to Andrea.  He was incredibly proud of Andrea, a special education teacher and ultimately an administrator who is steadfast in her advocacy of children.  Now that he owns an older home, Mr. Feldman’s son, Alan, has tremendous appreciation for everything he learned from his father in terms of decorating, craftsmanship and repair.  Mr. Feldman possessed a huge body of knowledge and “the memory of an elephant” and he passed along encyclopedic wisdom to anyone lucky enough to listen.

Family said Mr. Feldman was as gregarious an individual as God ever created.  He loved to talk and could “own a room” for hours on end by telling stories and jokes. He enjoyed a close relationship with his mother-in-law, Hannah, and the two would laugh loudly for hours.  Mr. Feldman was also intensely passionate, iron-willed, caring, honest, direct, thorough and meticulous. He had an admirable work ethic.  He finished everything he ever started. He never gave up.  He was extremely good at what he did. He was a perfectionist. He admired beauty where it existed and could create flawless beauty where there was a lack. He asked for nothing and gave a lot. The world is a much better place for having Ben Feldman as an inhabitant for the last 79 years, family noted. They said, “We love you, Ben, and wish you peace and grace in your journey from here.”

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Very nice man. Always cared about the direction kids were going at 141. He'll be sorely missed.

Friday, November 20, 2015 | Report this