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Sidney Postol, longtime civic leader, dies at 96

Updated 6:02 pm, Tuesday, April 29, 2014
  • Sidney S. Postol, a veteran of town and state public service, died Monday at age 96. Photo: Contributed Photo / Westport News

    Sidney S. Postol, a veteran of town and state public service, died Monday at age 96.

    Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Sidney S. Postol, long active in local and state government, died Monday.

Postol, 96, had most recently served on the Police Commission, but had also served in the state's General Assembly representing the 134th District for one term and spent 16 years on the Board of Education, as well as a stint on the Ethics Commission. He had been a member of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, the Library Board of Trustees and the Representative Town Meeting.

His late wife, Eunice, for whom the town's Recreation Center on Mill Plain Road is named, was a selectman.

"He was committed to public service," his daughter, Barbara Rifkin, said Tuesday. "He was committed to good government and civil liberties."

A graduate of Yale University, Postol went onto earn a law degree from Harvard, and also attended graduate school at Harvard.

He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving from 1942-45, and received a field commission on Aug. 15, 1944, in St. Raphael, France.

In business, Postol from 1946-86 was vice president of City Lumber Co., vice president of Cilco Terminal, president of Seaview Avenue Lumber Terminal and president of Intercoastal Trucking Co. He also was the executive manager for the Cilco Terminal from 1987-93.

Rifkin said her father loved his term in the legislature, but was equally as fond of his 16 years on the Fairfield school board. "I think he was a great advocate for public education and for the need to fund education," she said.

Support public education, said former Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ellery Plotkin said, was the advice that Postol gave him when he was interviewed as a potential candidate for the RTM. "He interviewed me because he was a district leader," Plotkin recalled. "He told me, `Support public education and do what you think is best for the town of Fairfield.' "

Black bunting was hung at the Police Department headquarters entrance as a sign of mourning for Postol, who Plotkin said was a "very smart guy." While in his 70s and 80s, he said, Postol regularly traveled to Yale University to audit law courses.

"He was always a gentleman," Plotkin said. "Quiet, but very effective ... He did it all."

In 1999, he was awarded the John J. Sullivan Public Service Award from the Democratic Town Committee, and the Diana O. Kiernan Memorial Award in 1984 from the PTA Council. The Chamber of Commerce presented him with the Harold B. Harris Award in 2003.

"Sid Postol was an icon in our town," First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. "He served Fairfield in so many ways. His life defined community service. He was always an example to everyone on how to handle yourself in a professional and civil manner."

Services will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at Congregation B'Nai Israel, 2710 Park Ave., Bridgeport, with burial to follow in B'Nai Israel Cemetery on Kings Highway.

For the complete obituary, visit: http://bit.ly/1o10h0m