Obituary for Irving Jack Tanzman
Irving Jack Tanzman, 85, died peacefully in his beloved home on Saturday April 8, 2017. Irving was born in Liberty, New York on March 8, 1932. Irv grew up in Parksville, New York attending a one room school house and working in his family’s seasonal resort. Early he showed a lifelong love of dogs and the outdoors. Irv graduated from Liberty High school where he was president of his class four years in a row. Recently this class of 1950 gathered for their 65th reunion with over 30 classmates in attendance. He graduated from Ohio State University College of Optometry College in 1955 and served overseas in the armed forces as an optometrist.
Irving came to North Adams with his first wife Melinda and established his office of optometry 1961. Irv loved the practice of optometry and the opportunity it afforded him to get to know and to serve the community. Feeling fortunate to have useful skills, Irv volunteered with the Optometric Services to Humanity providing care to communities in Nicaragua, El Salvador, & Armenia. He never tired of the wonder of assisting people to see better and, as he loved to say, “retired early at the age of 80!”
Irv loved the Northern Berkshires and dedicated time and energy to the community. He served as the President of the Northern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce during a period of redevelopment of downtown North Adams in the early ‘70s. He worked to provide positive opportunities for youth by leading the Board of the Northern Berkshire YMCA, and also served on the Building Committee for the Salvation Army Citadel.
In 1980 he married Gail (Barney) and together they enjoyed many years of adventure, travel, and throwing parties for family and friends. They raised and trained Weimaraners for love and show until Gail’s death in 2010.
He was an active outdoorsman and loved to hunt, fish, hike, and ski. Irv volunteered with the Hoosick River Watershed Association, Advocates to the river and enjoyed many an afternoon canoeing the “mighty Hoosick” as he affectionately referred to the river adjoining his home.
In the last years of his life Irv enjoyed the loving companionship of Marcia Sarrouf and our family is deeply grateful for her care of and dedication to Irving.
Irving leaves five children: Beth H Tanzman of Shelburne VT, George E Tanzman of Bangkok Thailland, David J Tanzman of Pittsfield MA, Jayson M Tanzman also of Pittsfield, and Colin Barney of Cambridge NY and their spouses; five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
A memorial service celebrating Irving’s life will be held on Thursday April 13, 2017 at Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, West Chapels 521 West Main St. North Adams 01247 at 6:00 pm. Calling hours will be Thursday from 4:00 – 6:00 at the funeral home.
The family requests that those wishing to honor Irving’s memory contribute to the Berkshire Humane Society. Donations can be sent to the Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral home at the address above. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.