LAKE PLACID - Renowned pianist and educator Herbert Chatzky, 78, of Newcomb, passed away suddenly but peacefully while surrounded by family in Albany on Sept. 5, 2013.
Born April 8, 1935, in Baltimore, Md., to Samuel and Sonia Chatzky, Herbert was raised in New York City. He was a man of strong moral convictions whose compassion and talents reached across the boundaries of age and faith. Herbert was a deeply spiritual person, a student and admirer of his Jewish heritage, and a supporter of Israel. He loved nature and animals and quite literally wouldn't hurt a fly. While living in Newcomb, he indulged his love of nature with long walks and wildlife observation.
A full scholarship recipient and graduate of Juilliard School of Music (B.S. 1957, M.S. 1958), Herbert won numerous awards for piano and composition. He taught piano at Juilliard School of Music, Bowling Green State University and Hartt School of Music and was a longtime music teacher in the South Windsor, Conn. public school system. Choirmaster and pianist of the Hartford Symphony Chorale from 1962 to 1973, he also served as musical director and organist of the Second Congregational Church (Manchester, Conn.) and Temple Beth Israel (West Hartford, Conn.).
A longtime resident of Manchester, Conn., he founded and directed the Manchester Young Artists Competition. He was passionate about encouraging and developing talent in youth and teen performers. Many of his private students and competition winners went on to distinguished careers.
Upon retirement from South Windsor Public Schools, Mr. Chatzky and his wife, Sally, moved to the Adirondack Mountains, where he founded and directed the Newcomb Young Artists Competition and performed regularly throughout the region.
Herbert served with distinction in the U.S. Air Force National Guard from 1960 to 1970, completing his enlistment as a non-commissioned officer at the rank of technical sergeant.
He had a wonderful, heartfelt laugh. Family members gave him a variety of fond nicknames including Herbie, Bimpa, Big Mike, Hershela and Heshe.
A devoted and loving husband and father, Herbert is predeceased by his longtime wife, Sally Rush Chatzky. He is survived by his children: Lisa O'Brien, David Chatzky and Christine Regan; grandchildren: Samantha O'Brien, Danielle Jauz, Jordan Tetro and Seth Tetro; great-grandchildren: Marley and Simon Jauz; his sister, Deborah Karp, and his fiancee, Tzippy Marks-Barnett.
Services will be held at United Hebrew Community Cemetery on Old Military Road, Lake Placid, this Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at 2 p.m. with Rabbi Alec Friedman officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Jewish National Fund or the Humane Society of the United States.