March 6, 1931 – Oct. 8, 2012
Irwin Katzman, a former Amherst resident who was an insurance company owner and philanthropist, died Oct. 8 in a Wellington, Fla., hospital. He was 81.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Katzman was a graduate of the University of Buffalo.
His career in the insurance industry started in 1955 with Equitable Life Insurance Co., where he advanced from salesman to sales manager.
In 1963, he went to work with Bankers Life Co., which became Principal Financial Group in 1985. He and Bob Long, his longtime business partner, formed Long and Katzman Principal Agency.
In 1976, the business partners and their wives founded Specific Solutions, an insurance brokerage agency representing more than 50 companies. Long and Katzman Principal Agency merged with Specific Solutions in 1993.
Mr. Katzman had won numerous “Man of the Year Awards” during his tenure with Bankers Life and Principal Financial Group.
He was a pioneer in the area of long-term care insurance.
He and his wife, the former Marlene Feldman, moved to Florida in 2005, and Mr. Katzman retired a year later.
Leaders in United Way giving, the couple earned membership in the organization’s Tocqueville Society. Mr. Katzman was a former president of Temple Beth El, auction chairman for the Jewish Community Center and phonathon sponsor for the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo.
He also was founder of the Hemophilia Foundation and was a steadfast supporter of his grandchildren’s school, the Kadimah School of Buffalo.
He gave of himself as a blood donor; his life goal of donating 15 gallons of blood to the Red Cross fell just one pint short because of his illness.
Mr. Katzman was member of the Amherst Hills Tennis Center, now known as Miller Tennis Center, for more than 30 years. He also was an avid skier who hosted more than 100 friends and relatives during many “family” ski trips to Colorado.
Besides his wife of 57 years, survivors include two daughters, Marcy Lenard and Jacki-Sue; a son, Jeffrey; and a brother, Melvin.
Services were held Oct. 10 in Boynton Beach, Fla.