Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Howard Dickstein, a longtime Westporter, died Aug. 24 at home. He was 89.
An advertising executive, sports writer and Westport civic volunteer, he was born Oct. 4, 1927 and raised in the Bronx by his parents, Ann and Benjamin, and his grandparents, Jennie and Abraham Wax.
An honor student at Dewitt Clinton High School, he graduated at 16 and enrolled in the journalism school at New York University.
He supported himself by working at an ad agency, and as a stringer at the old New York Herald Tribune. In early 1945, he joined the Navy and subsequently returned to NYU on the G.I. Bill to complete his undergraduate degree.
He spent most of his career in the advertising industry, and eventually operated his own agency.
In retirement, he was a proofreader for the Westport Minuteman in the 1990s, and a sports writer concentrating on his beloved Staples soccer program.
Under the pseudonym “Hawkeye,” he wrote a humor column and occasional pieces on topics that struck his fancy.
He had many passions. During the civil rights era, he co-sponsored The Forum which brought speakers such as Floyd McKissick and Norman Thomas to Westport.
He worked to promote dialogue between Westport and Bridgeport, and designed pamphlets for fair housing. He was a two-term president of the Southern Connecticut Ethical Society, volunteered in the Norwalk Hospital emergency room, served meals at the Westport Senior Center, and umpired Little League for many years, where he served as umpire-in-chief.
He adored the UConn women’s basketball teams, and was chronically disappointed by his favored New York Mets.
Fascinated by the O.J. Simpson trial, he enrolled at Norwalk Community College to study criminal justice, and accompanied local police on ride-alongs. He and Kate, his wife of 64 years, were original members of “The Turkeys,” a local play reading group that was active for 30 years.
He was a talented and tireless handyman and, among many enduring design and construction projects, built a massive stone wall over the span of years.
Above all he was a devoted and cherished family man. He is survived by his wife Kate; sons Peter and his wife Lisa of San Francisco, Stephen and his wife Natalie of Del Rey Beach, Florida, and daughter Jane and her husband Gordon of Mill Valley, California, as well as five grandchildren, Jordan, Anna, Jackson, Tess, and Miller, his sister, Geraldine, and nieces, nephews, and cousins. Special gratitude goes to his dedicated caregivers Stacy Meikle and Jennifer Wilson.
At his request, Howard’s memorial service will be private. Contributions in Howard’s name may be made to Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County, Inc., P.O. Box 489, Wilton, CT 06897.
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