NY Times Obituary
Sy Hyman, beloved father, grandfather, friend, and free spirit, died October 3, 2022, a vibrant 95 years old.
Sy was the devoted husband of 48 years of Dr. Sandra Kammerman Hyman, who preceded him in death in November, 2021, and loving father to their sons Rob and Andrew, daughter-in-love Lamelle, and beloved grandchildren, Neshama, Aliya, Shalev and Kol, who adored their “Babu.” Sy cherished his brothers and their families, Henry & Rachel, and Noel, Mickey & Joey, as well as Sandy’s extraordinary siblings and their families.
Born in 1927 in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, to Morris and Fannie Hyman, Sy attended Brooklyn Tech High School. The first in his family to go to college, he entered the NY State Maritime Academy at Fort Schuyler during the last months of World War II. The midshipmen in his graduating class nurtured a close bond for over 70 years. Sy served on submarines with the rank of Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve and earned a master’s in industrial engineering from New York University. At age 24, he became the youngest commissioned officer of his rank in the U.S. Navy as chief industrial engineer at Brooklyn’s 2,000-person Naval clothing factory.
In 1954 he founded his own company, Herculite, with $10,000. A consummate entrepreneur, he built it into Health-Chem Corporation, listed on the American Stock Exchange. Based in New York City, Health-Chem manufactured and distributed medical, dental, and veterinary supplies; sanitation chemicals, paints and industrial fabrics. Sy’s industrial fabric inventions, particularly Herculite, led to the creation of a new industry. Widespread applications across numerous areas of everyday life range from baseball field tarps to weatherproof industrial tents. His antimicrobial and flame resistant Staph-Check mattress ticking has protected hospital patients for six decades. Sy held numerous patents, and pioneered the use of controlled-release plastics, the most prominent application of which is the transdermal medical patch.
Sy was a world traveler with his beloved wife, Sandy. A polymath and omnivorous reader, Sy was perpetually filled with wonder about the world. He had a peerless sense of humor, incomparable skills of persuasion, and a gift for extemporaneous toasts. He was devoted to the security of the State of Israel, and was proud of developing materials used for children’s gas masks and tarps for medical evacuation in the desert. Despite enduring intense hardships, he was unfailingly optimistic and filled with gratitude. When Andrew’s special needs emerged, Sy advocated vigorously for children and adults living with severe disabilities. He will be most remembered as a spectacularly loving and playful father, family member, and friend; a man comfortable expressing emotion from a generation in which that was rare; passionate, charismatic, curious, unconstrained by convention, and brave. Though he will be forever missed, his legacy is eternal among all who loved him.
The funeral will be Thursday (10/6) at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W 76th St., NYC 10023. Zoom links for the funeral and burial can be found at: bit.ly/SyFuneral.
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Donations may be given in Sy’s memory to YAI: Seeing Beyond Disability.